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Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Breaking News, Crime, Featured, International, Law, Military, Places, Terrorism, War | 6 comments

BREAKING: Drone Kills Leader of Pakistani Taliban (Updated)

Predator

UPDATES:
The BBC says that a high-ranking official has confirmed that Mehsud was killed in a drone strike that hit Mehsud’s vehicle with four missiles and which killed four other people, including two of his bodyguards.

The New York Times cites Pakistani government officials saying that five militant commanders had been killed in the attack, including Mr. Mehsud, his uncle and a bodyguard, and two wounded.

While Pakistan’s government “strongly condemned” the drone attack and some fear a violent backlash, “others welcomed news of Mr. Mehsud’s demise. Athar Abbas, a former army general and spokesman, said in a television interview that the United States may have ‘helped Pakistan, by eliminating a person who was damaging the state of Pakistan,’” according to the Times. “[M]any believe Mehsud’s death will leave the field open for groups that are known to have publicly favoured a rapprochement with Pakistan,” says the BBC.

Mehsud had a $5 million FBI bounty on his head and was thought to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and the orchestration of “a major suicide bombing against a C.I.A. base in southern Afghanistan in 2009 that killed seven Americans and two other people,” according to the Times.

Original Post:

The New York Times reports that a U.S. drone has killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

If confirmed, his death would be a major achievement for the covert C.I.A. program at a time when drones have come under renewed scrutiny over civilian casualties in both Pakistan and the United States.

While prior reports of Mr. Mehsud’s death have proved false, and the Pakistani Taliban offered no comment, there was a proliferation of accounts of his death on Friday from multiple sources, including the militants, within hours of the missile attack. Mr. Mehsud, a showy and ruthless militant leader whose group has been responsible for the death of thousands of civilians across Pakistan as well as many soldiers, had a $5 million United States government bounty on his head.

Read more here.

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  • ordinarysparrow

    Looks like this news will drown out the voice of nine year old, Nabila Rehman,who traveled over 7,000 miles from Pakistan to testify before Congress about witnessing the drone strike that killed her grandmother this week… It is reported that only 5 Congressmen attended the hearing.

    http://rt.com/usa/rehman-drone-grayson-hearing-924/

    It is positive Mr. Mehsud is no longer able to take the lives of others, but where are the ones that will say “no” to taking the lives of innocent children, mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers by those same drones? Five Congressmen had the time and space to hear Nabila…

    It is reported that each drone strike creates 40 new militants…Really do not know how they can assess that but even if it is 10% of that????

    Dorian i am not that good at math, but this is a hollow victory if 40 are created?

    http://rt.com/usa/drone-strikes-create-militants-678/

    There is no longer a genuine debate on the use of drones, they are here to stay…

    Tears for Nabila Rehman, she too has a face and voice worthy of seeing…

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Thanks for your comments, OS.

    It is late here and will get back with you tomorrow.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Good Morning, OS

    I read both RT articles and others at that publication related to the use of drones for military purposes.

    It goes without saying that all our hearts break when we see, read or hear about the loss of innocent lives in military operations. The case of Nabila and Zubail and their family is especially tragic and I am glad that it is being heard at least by a few congresspersons.

    I hope the day will come when defensive military operations can be taken without the loss of any innocent lives. Actually, I wish the day will come that no military operations by anyone will be necessary.

    In the meantime, I hope that our political and military leaders will do everything in their power to prevent such losses.

    You and I have had extensive and civil discussions — without calling each other “coward” or worse — on this and other contentious issues (such as NSA surveillance). I have stated my views repeatedly and honestly (just click on my posts and comments on this issue) and I totally remember, understand and appreciate yours. I hope that we can continue to agree where possible and disagree where necessary with equal respect.

    As to the “creation” of “40” or more new militants (“terrorists”?), yes, I am a math major, but while I am sure that such tragedies create significant hate and resentment towards the United States, I honestly don’t think that anyone can put a number to it. But, as you say, “even 10 percent” is not good.

    “Hollow victory”? Yes and no. Yes, when such tragedies occur and anti-American hate is stoked even more. No, when such an operation prevents the killing of dozens, perhaps hundreds or more, innocent American men, women and children in our hometowns.

    Finally, from the bottom of my heart, I agree with your “Tears for Nabila Rehman, she too has a face and voice worthy of seeing.”

  • ordinarysparrow

    Thanks Dorian, appreciate your response….The issue of drones is complex and layered…We fully agree there is no Easypass on the Drone Throughway, neither for those that see them as necessary and those that would see them banned…

    Targeting a known dangerous terrorist is a success due to drone technology, surely lives are saved by this action… Nabila Rehman has a face and a voice, we can never forget this either… And this too…And Nabila Rehman too….

    Honoring and withstanding the tension of the opposites, i agree… The Earth is round…No flat earth for either of us, thanks….

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Thank you, OS.

    (I hope you don’t mind me referring to your thoughtful responses in a follow-up post)

  • ordinarysparrow

    Dorian,i do not mind at all….

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