Posted by SAM on 16 February, 2009 at 4:54 am. 5 comments already!

Usually these are characterized as mostly civilians. This time it’s almost all Taliban (perhaps gathered to discuss peace in the SWAT territory?).


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 16 (UPI) — At least 31 people died Monday in a remote area of Pakistan in what seems to be a U.S. missile strike, a witness and a Pakistani government official said.

The attack by the pilotless aircraft occurred near Parachinar, a town near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the semi-autonomous Kurram tribal region, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reported Monday. A government official said those killed were all thought to be Taliban militants.

The official and a resident both said U.S. drone aircraft were seen in the area before the strike near the village of Sur Pul. The target was a camp used by Taliban militants, the government official said.

The missile attacks by CIA-operated drones have been aimed at foreign al-Qaida and Taliban militants who hide in Pakistan. Pakistani authorities have criticized the strikes, sharing their complaints with Richard Holbrooke, U.S. President Barack Obama’s representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan, who is on a “listening tour” in the region.

The latest attack came a day after government officials and Taliban militants seemed close to reaching an agreement to end violence in Swat, also in northern Pakistan, the Times said. Militants there declared a 10-day cease-fire and the government indicated it was ready to accept the introduction of Islamic law.

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