CIA assassinations in Pakistan now almost routine

The targeted assassinations by the CIA in Pakistan have become routine to the extent that the US media have now stopped covering them. Last Thursday, four more missiles fired by a CIA-operated unmanned aircraft hit an alleged “militant hideout and training camp” in Kurram Valley, a tribally administered Pakistani region on the border with Afghanistan. A Reuters news agency correspondent in Islamabad quotes an unnamed senior Pakistani government official in Kuram who alleges that the missiles “hit a militant hideout and training camp in the Barjo area”. Also cited in the Reuters report is Noor Islam, a villager from the Barjo area, who stated that “[t]he training camp was completely destroyed” and that “at least 14 people were killed”. After a similar strike in Afghanistan last month, the US Pentagon was eventually forced to admit  that it killed “13 Afghan civilians and only three militants”. At least 176 people have reportedly been killed in over 40 CIA missile strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan during the past few months. Late last January the US Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, essentially confirmed that the Pakistani leadership is aware of the CIA drone activities, while in February US Senator Diane Feinstein carelessly exposed the Pakistani government by stating “these [CIA drones] are flown out of a Pakistani base”. In late February, unnamed American and Pakistani military officials disclosed to The New York Times that more than 70 US “military advisers […] and technical specialists” are secretly stationed in Pakistan, and are helping the country’s armed forces fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the remote areas bordering Afghanistan.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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