3,450 Pakistanis killed in 416 Drone strikes in Pakistan, 70% civilians

3,450 Pakistanis killed in 416 Drone strikes in Pakistan, 70% civilians

ISLAMABAD - A US drone strike hit a militant hideout near the Durand Line, the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, early on Thursday morning, killing three militants, media reports said. 

Associated Press quoted two Pakistani intelligence officials as saying that unmanned aerial vehicle fired two missiles at the Ghaznavi compound of Haqqani network’s commander Abdul Rasheed, which is affiliated with the Taliban militants. 

It was unclear if Rasheed was at the compound at the time of the strike, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, Associated Press said in its report. 

According to the Associated Press report, Abdullah Asrat, spokesman for the provincial governor of Paktia province, which is located near the Kurram tribal region, said the drone strike took place on Afghan soil, in Patan district. 

The Associated Press report says the Afghan official gave a higher death toll, saying that seven militants were killed, including two commanders, and that two were wounded.

Reports indicate that more than 3,450 people have been killed in 416 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004.

According to international think tanks and human rights groups, including Amnesty International and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 70 percent of drone victims were unarmed civilians.

This comes after General John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, on Tuesday said the US troops in the country will receive more air power resources in the near future to fight alongside Afghan soldiers against insurgents. 
Nicholson said the US also seeks to put more pressure on Pakistan to take solid action against the terrorists’ hideouts and safe havens.