A US drone strike killed eight people in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, three intelligence sources said, the latest in a series of drone attacks that come as a retired US general warns their overuse may threaten US foreign policy goals.
A foreign tactical trainer for al-Qaeda was reportedly among those killed in the latest strike, although reports differed on his nationality. Some intelligence officials said he was from Somalia, but others said he was from the United Arab Emirates.
Three people were also injured in the attack on Haiderkhel Village, about 30km east of the provincial capital of Miranshah in North Waziristan, a region along the Afghan border that is a key stronghold of the Taliban.
Al-Qaeda top strategist Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed nearby in a drone attack last year.
On Monday, retired US General Stanley McChrystal said that drones had helped US troops, but were hated around the world and that their overuse could jeopardize US security.
Opinion in Pakistan is divided over drone strikes. Many criticize them as an infringement of the country’s sovereignty and because they have killed civilians. Others say the strikes reach militants who are terrorizing the local population in areas the Pakistani army cannot go.
There has been an increase in drone strikes in recent weeks.
Last week Mullah Nazir, a strong supporter of attacks on US troops in Afghanistan, was killed in a drone strike, along with his deputy and top commanders. On Sunday a drone strike killed between 10 and 12 militants, local residents said.