UAV-fired missile kills five militants in Pakistan's North-West territory

Published 5 November 2007

U.S. deployed weapons-carrying UAVs to Iraq and Afghanistan; the administration plans to rely more heavily on these systems in hunting down and killing al Qaeda operatives now operating freely in Pakistan’s lawless North-West Territories

Readers of this newsletter would know that we have written several stories about weapons-carrying UAVs being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and that we also wrote that these deployments should concentrate the minds of al Queda operatives now freely operating in the North-West Territories of Pakistan. Now, here are the first paragraphs of a short story from this past Saturday’s New York Times. Smart money says there will be more and more such stories in the coming months:

A missile fired from an unmanned aerial drone killed five militants and wounded six other people in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas on Friday, according to a Pakistani security official and a local resident.

The United States has used drones to carry out attacks on militants in the area in the past, but in Washington, a Pentagon spokesman denied that the American military was involved in a strike, Reuters reported. A spokesman for the Central Intelligence Agency, which operates drones as well, declined to comment.

American officials have denied operating drones inside Pakistan, but after previous strikes, local residents and militants have produced missile fragments with American markings. Some strikes have killed senior militants, while others have killed large numbers of civilians.”

Remember to look for three ingredients in these stories: UAV firing missiles and killing militants; U.S. officials deny involvement; munition fragments carrying U.S. markings are found on the scene.