At Least 80 Dead as U.S. Drones Attack South Waziristan Funeral Procession

On Thursday, U.S. drones launched an attack on a compound in South Waziristan, and when locals rushed to the scene to rescue survivors, they launched more missiles at them, leaving a total of 13 dead. The timing and target of the attack were controversial, as was the tactic of luring locals in with a first strike to maximize the kill count. Today, locals were involved in a funeral procession when the U.S. struck again.


Drones attacked what they suspected was a "militant hideout" early today, killing at least 17. When mourners gathered to offer prayers for those slain in the first attack, the drones struck again, attacking the procession itself and bringing the overall toll to at least 80, according to witnesses.

The funeral attack was reportedly aimed at Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud, though officials acknowledge that he was not killed in the salvo.

The recent attacks show a level of aggression and a willingness to target gatherings likely to contain many innocent people unseen in previous U.S. strikes in the area. Generally speaking, most of the dozens of attacks against South Waziristan have been isolated strikes against buildings, and were not followed up with supplementary attacks on the gathering crowds.

The attacks come as the Pakistani government begins to ratchet up its own military offensive in the area. It is possible that the Pakistani military’s history of indiscriminate shelling of civilian targets and eagerness for massive kill counts is eliminating the diplomatic obstacles which have kept the deaths from the Americans’ own attacks comparatively low.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.