153 killed by drone strikes in Pakistan in 2014
At least 153 people have been killed in 25 U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s restless tribal belt in 2014, according to figures from a Pakistan-based think tank.
The Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think tank that monitors drone strikes, 22 out of 25 strikes were carried out in troubled North Waziristan, one of seven semi autonomous tribal areas in Pakistan and considered the “heartland of militancy” by the U.S. administration.
The remaining drone strikes were carried out in the nearby South Waziristan and Khyber Agency tribal areas. Sixty-four people were also injured in the strikes, the report said.
The report said the drone strikes mainly targeted Taliban networks which have been active in neighboring Afghanistan, including the Haqqani network, which has been responsible for attacks on foreign troops.
Only two strikes were carried out against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the main Taliban coalition working within Pakistan, which has been the target of a months-long operation by the Pakistani army.
It has also been responsible for several attacks on civilians, including the killing of 134 students at a school in the city of Peshawar on December 16.
There had initially been a halt on drone strikes in Pakistan in the first five months of 2014 but operations were accelerated when the Pakistan army began its military operations in North Waziristan in June.
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.