PESHAWAR, Pakistan – An American drone fired a volley of missiles into a house close to the Afghan border today, killing eight suspected militants and indicating U.S. resolve to continue with the attacks despite renewed Pakistani opposition, officials said.
The strike in North Waziristan was the second American drone operation in Pakistan this week.
The attacks come amid American efforts to rebuild its relationship with Pakistan, which in November blocked the passage of U.S. and NATO war supplies to neighboring Afghanistan. The country’s parliament has called for an end to the drone strikes, which many here regard as an unacceptable violation of sovereignty.
Up to eight missiles were fired at a house in the Dra Nishtar area of North Waziristan early today, Pakistani intelligence officials said. They didn’t give their names because they were not authorized to be named in the media.
America is unwilling to stop the drone attacks because they have weakened al-Qaida and associated groups in Pakistan’s tribal regions, large parts of which are not under the control of the Pakistani state. In the past, Pakistan’s intelligence agency has cooperated with the attacks, but the government has not publicly acknowledged this.
North Waziristan is a haven for Islamist militants from many parts of the world. It is also believed to be a key command and control center for insurgents fighting American troops in neighboring Afghanistan. The identities and affiliations of those killed today were not immediately known.
The frequency of the strikes has significantly dropped this year.