Just five days after supply routes were reopened in Pakistan, a US drone targeted a compound in Waziristan tribal region. Pakistan TV newschannels reported that at least 24 militants had been killed, according to their sources. Other sources said that at least 24 were killed.
On Tuesday Pakistan agreed that it would reopen NATO supply routes and this is the first drone attack since the announcement. A drone attack earlier this week killed, where eight persons were killed in the Shawal region.
Although Pakistan's foreign office stated earlier this week that drone strikes were counter-productive and were a violation of the country's sovereignty, the US has rejected calls to stop the attacks. The US considers drone vital and effective effective in eliminating al-Qaida and Taliban elements hiding in the tribal belt.
In November Pakistan closed the supply routes after one of the deadliest attacks into Pakistan, when Pakistan's military forces were targeted and killed. After a Pentagon investigation it was found that US Forces fired in self-defense, blaming poor maps and co-ordination and Islambad's failure to provide locations of their border posts. Islamabad in turn argued that Pakistani troops fired at militants nowhere near any US troops.
Today's strike, which fired two missiles at a compound, was at Datta Khel, which is considered a stronghold of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the commander of a Taliban faction accused of sending militants across the border to fight foreign troops in Afghanistan.
While talks are supposedly ongoing between Pakistan and the US, don't expect the drone strikes to end any time soon. They will likely be part of the tool box after the US completes its combat mission.