Islamabad: A top al Qaeda commander Abu Ahmad is said to be amongst 15 militants who were killed in Saturday’s US drone attack in Mirali town in Pakistan’s volatile tribal region of North Waziristan
According to a private television channel, Abu was amongst the top commanders of al Qaeda and was involved in a series of terror strikes in Afghanistan, which were launched from Pakistan.
This was the 216th drone strike, which have killed over 900 people, mostly civilians, in the troubled northwest tribal areas of Pakistan since 2008.
The missile hit has come at a time when President Obama’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke is in Islamabad.
Earlier this month a report by a top UN official had criticised the Obama administration for continuing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated drone attacks in the semi-autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan, as it has resulted in countless civilian deaths.
UN’s special rapporteur on extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions Phillip Alston, in his report, argued that drone strikes amount to a “license to kill” without being held accountable, a license the US would not want any other country to have.
While the Obama administration is yet to publicly accept responsibility for the drone hits, the CIA maintains that the attacks carried out by the unmanned aircraft are in fact overseen by the White House and Congress, and refuted reports that the agency lacked accountability.