The Bush Years: Pakistan strikes 2004 – 2009

The events detailed here occurred 2004 and the first days of 2009. These have been reported by US or Pakistani government, military and intelligence officials, and by credible media, academic and other sources, including on occasion Bureau researchers. Below is a summary of CIA drone strikes and casualty estimates for the Bush presidency. Please note that our data changes according to our current understanding of particular strikes. Below represents our present best estimate.

The first known fatal US drone strike inside Pakistan also killed two children – a fact rarely reported. The target, local Taliban commander Nek Mohammad (who had been linked to an assassination plot against General Musharraf) died days after Pakistan lifted a short-lived amnesty with him. Also killed were up to four other alleged Taliban, including (possibly) two unknown Uzbeks. Others killed were named either as Fakhar Zaman and Azmat Khan; or as Marez KhanShahrukh Khan and Leetak (The News). House owner Sher Zaman Ashrafkhel, alleged by some to be a militant, was also killed along with his sons Irfan Wazir (aka Khan Zaman), 14 or 16 years old, and Zaman Wazir (aka Mohammed Zaman), eight or 10 years old. One report claimed that two of those who died were Nek Mohammad’s brothers. However in October 2012 brother Wali Mohammad told the BBC he was only injured in the strike, saying that ‘I’m not afraid of the drones – but I also don’t want to die in a drone attack.’

The strike was carried out with prior ISI approval, according to ‘a senior CIA official who served in the region’. The official told the New Yorker: ‘I would show them the Predator footage and I would say, “This is what is happening – massive training camps.” However, wary of revealing the CIA’s involvement, Pakistan’s Army initially claimed the attack as its own work. A military spokesman said at the time:

Nek Mohammad was suspected to be present in a hideout with his associates and our security forces acted swiftly on the information and that is how he was killed.

In April 2013, the New York Times reported that Mohammad was killed as part of a deal which granted the CIA access to Pakistan’s airspace for drone strikes: ‘In a secret deal, the CIA had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies… The deal, a month after a blistering internal report about abuses in the CIA’s network of secret prisons, paved the way for the CIA to change its focus from capturing terrorists to killing them, and helped transform an agency that began as a cold war espionage service into a paramilitary organization.’

For the first time journalist Mark Mazetti described in some detail the secret arrangement reached between Washington and Islamabad:

In secret negotiations, the terms of the bargain were set. Pakistani intelligence officials insisted that they be allowed to approve each drone strike, giving them tight control over the list of targets. And they insisted that drones fly only in narrow parts of the tribal areas — ensuring that they would not venture where Islamabad did not want the Americans going: Pakistan’s nuclear facilities, and the mountain camps where Kashmiri militants were trained for attacks in India. The ISI and the CIA agreed that all drone flights in Pakistan would operate under the CIA’s covert action authority — meaning that the United States would never acknowledge the missile strikes and that Pakistan would either take credit for the individual killings or remain silent. Mr. Musharraf did not think that it would be difficult to keep up the ruse. As he told one CIA officer: “In Pakistan, things fall out of the sky all the time.”

In November 2014 Steve Coll elaborated on this deal in an extensive article for the New Yorker. He wrote:

In 2004 the [Pakistan] Army intensified its operations [in South Waziristan], and, as violence spread, Musharraf allowed the CIA to fly drones to support Pakistani military action. In exchange, Musharraf told me, the Bush Administration “supplied us helicopters with precision weapons and night-operating capability.” He added: “The problem was intelligence collection and targeting… The Americans brought the drones to bear.”

Location: Kari Kot, Wana, South Waziristan.
Asia TimesDawnDaily TimesDaily TimesSouth Asia AnalysisCNNThe NewsForeign PolicyNew York TimesWashington PostBBCThe NewsNew York TimesAmnesty InternationalThe New Yorker

B2 – May 8 2005
♦ 2 total killed
Target Haitham al-Yemeni (an al Qaeda explosives expert) and his car passenger Samiullah Khan, described by MSNBC as ‘a local warlord’ were killed in a Predator strike which reportedly targeted the former’s mobile phone. Yemeni had been under US surveillance for more than a week, according to the Washington Post, and it is unclear why attempts were not made to capture him.

Amnesty International later accused the US of carrying out ‘an extrajudicial execution, in violation of international law.’

This strike, like the preceding and two successive attacks, was carried out with prior approval from the ISI. They were shown the feed from predators circling over the targets by the CIA, according to a former US intelligence officer.

Location: Toorikhel, near Mir Ali, North Waziristan.
ReferencesWashington PostLong War JournalAmnesty InternationalMSNBCUN Special RapporteurThe NewsThe New Yorker

B3 – November 5 2005
♦ 8 total killed
♦ 3-8 civilians, including 2-3 children, reported killed
♦ 1 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed locals (Dawn), unnamed Pakistan Army officials (Associated Press), Reports of family’s death (Family Security Matters) UN Special Rapporteur (US Department of State cable), named witness (Globe & Mail).

A failed strike againstAbu Hamza Rabia(‘al Qaeda’s Number 3’) destroyed his house and killed eight people, including Rabia’s wife. As many as three children were also reported killed, all girls, at least one of them Rabia’s daughter. Rabia himself was reported wounded in the leg.

Once again the Pakistan Army initially claimed responsibility for the attack, blaming it on a blast caused whilst militants prepared bombs. TV reporter Nasir Dawar, who lived next door to the attack site, later said:

I grabbed my Kalashnikov, because I thought somebody fired a rocket at my house… There was nothing left but body parts, and a kid lying under some bricks.

This attack was carried out with prior approval from the ISI. Pakistani intelligence officers were shown the feed from predators circling over the targets by the CIA, according to a former US intelligence officer.

Location: Mosaki, North Waziristan.
 DawnAPSATPCNNFamily Security MattersGlobe & MailThe AtlanticUN Special RapporteurThe New Yorker

B4 – December 1 2005
♦ 6 total killed
♦ 2-3 civilians, children, reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Named relative of victims (Dawnal Jazeera), UN Special Rapporteur (US Department of State cable)

Target Abu Hamza Rabiawas killed along with four others, including two other foreign militants, Suleiman al Moghrabi and Amer Azizi – both linked to the Madrid train bombings. Azizi’s Spanish wife Raquel Burgos Garcia was also reported killed. And two children were counted among the dead: an 8-year old, Noor Aziz and a 17-year old, Abdul Wasit, nephew and son respectively of house-owner Mohammad Siddiq, who survived.

Rabia was reportedly either a Syrian or Egyptian al Qaeda operative. His death was confirmed by then-Pakistan president Perves Musharaf who, when asked if Rabia was killed in a missile strike, said: ‘Yes indeed, 200 percent confirmed.’ He was killed in North Waziristan, Musharaf continued. ‘It is a place called Mirali, or little north of this town, that’s the place… I think he was killed the day before yesterday [December 2 2004], if I am not wrong.’ Then-Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said: ‘[Rabia] was a very important al Qaeda commander,’ adding: ‘Five people were killed in the explosion and we have identified that one of them was Hamza Rabia. There were two other foreigners but we do not know their identities.’

This attack was carried out with prior approval from the ISI. Pakistani intelligence officers were shown the feed from predators circling over the targets by the CIA, according to a former US intelligence officer.

Media speculation suggested that multiple Predator drones took part in the attack. Then-US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, when asked whether the US had killed Rabia, said:

We’ve obviously been supporting Pakistan. President Musharraf has been very aggressive in dealing with the Al Qaeda and Taliban presence in Pakistan. We have helped him in terms of providing intelligence and cooperating with his forces, and obviously this is something that would be an important thing for Pakistan, important thing for the United States.’

Photographer Hayatullah Khan recorded the remains of a US Hellfire missile at the site, providing the first substantial proof of US involvement. He was kidnapped on December 5 2005 and murdered by assailants unknown, although his widow (herself later assassinated in 2007) blamed Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI. Khan’s brother at one point also accused US forces of holding his brother prior to his death.

Location: Asori, North Waziristan.
Christian Science MonitorDawnDawnDawnCNNFamily Security MattersThe AtlanticAl JazeeraFox NewsForeign PolicyUN Special Rapporteursecret US diplomatic cableThe NewsDaily TimesCampaign to Protect JournalistsChristian Science MonitorBBCDaily TimesInterviu (Es)AFP/The IslandThe New Yorker

B4c – January 6 2006
♦ 8 total killed
♦ 3-4 civilians, including 1-2 child, reported killed
♦ 9 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed Pakistani officials (Dawn), unnamed witnesses (New York Times).

An apparent US special forces raid on an unnamed ‘al Qaeda official’ was reported and a guest house owned by Maulvi Noor Mohammad was destroyed. Eight people were reported killed including two women and one or two children. Three ‘suspected Islamists’ were also said to be among the dead. It was claimed that ‘US soldiers’ took away two tribesmen by helicopter in a related operation.

A Maulvi Noor Mohammed – identified as a senior Taliban figure – was reportedly killed in both March and August 2010. In March 2012 the Washington Post reported that in 2006At times [in Pakistan], the agency had only three working Predator drones.’

Location: Saidgai, North Waziristan
ReferencesReutersDawnNew York TimesDaily TimesGlobal JihadWashington Post

B5 – January 13 2006
♦ 13-22 total killed
♦ 10-18 civilians, including 5-6 children, reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed Pakistani officials (Daily TelegraphNew York TimesIndependent), named eyewitness (Express Tribune), reports (Congressional Research Service), reports (McClatchy), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau)

The Pakistani government publicly protested a strike which killed up to 18 civilians. Main target Ayman al-Zawahiri was absent from a possible al Qaeda and Taliban commanders’ meeting. Despite initial reports that all the victims were al Qaeda or Taliban figures, including six leading fighters, later reports by local officials suggested that most or all of the dead were civilians, including 14 from one family, with up to six children killed. And an internal government document reported that 16 people died, describing them instead as: ’05 children 05 women and 6 mens [sic] all civilians’.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry summoned the US Ambassador Ryan Crocker to deliver an official protest. The US Congressional Research Service later described the attack:

A missile attack on a residential compound in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border killed up to 18 people, reportedly including numerous women and children. Some reports said the death toll was higher and included up to one dozen Islamic militants. Pakistani officials and local witnesses blamed the attack on U.S. air forces, possibly Predator drones that were targeting top Al Qaeda leader Ayman al- Zawahri, who was not at the scene. U.S. officials would not confirm U.S. involvement. The incident led to major public anti-U.S. demonstrations.’

Two weeks later, Zawahiri issued a video mocking the US for failing to kill him: ‘In seeking to kill my humble self and four of my brothers, the whole world has discovered the extent of America’s lies and failures and the extent of its savagery in fighting Islam and Muslims.’

Reported killed:
Abu Khabab al Masri (WMD committee head) – false, see B17
Abd Rahman al Masri al Maghribi (al-Zawahiri’s son-in-law, al Qaeda commander) – unlikely
Abu Ubeidah al Masri (Kunar operations chief) – false – died of natural causes 2008
Marwan al Suri (Waziristan operations chief) – false – reportedly killed in a gunfight near Khaar near the Afghan border in April 2006
Khalid Habib (southeastern Afghanistan commander) – false – killed apparently by shelling in Afghanistan
Abdul Hadi al Iraqi (southwestern Afghanistan commander) – false – captured entering Iraq late 2006

Journalist Pir Zubair Shah visited the scene shortly afterwards and reported:

The families of the victims took me to see their newly dug graves. “All those killed, including women and children, are from this village,” a villager told me as he showed me the burial site. “There were no foreigners here.” Then I noticed something odd: Although I counted 13 graves, the locals would only tell me the names of seven women and children who had been killed. When it came to the men, they were silent. Later, a Pakistani official told me foreigners had indeed been present, including Zawahiri, though he had left some time before the missile hit.’

Location: Berkandi area of Damadola, Bajaur Agency.
Washington PostExpress TribuneFamily Security MattersABC NewsLong War JournalTelegraphSunday TimesThe IndependentUS Congressional Research ServiceAssociated PressForeign PolicyUN Special RapporteurNew York TimesNew York TimesMcClatchyBureauNew York Timesal Qaeda eulogy

B5c  – April 12 2006
♦ 7-14 total killed
♦ 2 children reported killed
An airstrike killed at least seven, including a ‘top ranking al Qaeda militant’ Mohsin Musa Matawalli Atwah. Atwah was an Egyptian bomb maker wanted in connection with US Embassy bombings in East Africa. The US had offered a $5m bounty for the man they accused of training the bombers who attacked US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya on August 7 1998 killing 12 Americans and over 200 Africans. One US intelligence official told NBC: ‘He is a significant player, an explosives expert, a bomb maker.’ A house was reportedly destroyed in the attack and at least seven bodies were removed from the rubble. At least five ‘non-Pakistani‘ alleged militants were killed. The strike also killed two young brothers who lived in the house, aged 2 years and 2 months.

NBC was the only source to carry allegations this was a drone strike, reported by some local residents. US officials refused to comment on these claims and Pakistani intelligence officials denied US involvement, saying a Pakistan Army helicopter gunship attacked the village. Village elder Khan Wazir said: ‘There was a huge explosion, which we think was a missile attack, before the helicopters came and bombed the house.’

Location: Naghar Kalai, North Waziristan
ReferencesNBC NewsAssociated Press

B6 – October 30 2006
♦ 81-83 total killed
♦ 80-82 civilians, including 68-70 children, reported killed
♦ 3 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: List of the dead compiled for National Assembly member (The News), named Pakistani military spokesman (DawnFamily Security MattersNew York Times), eyewitnesses (Inter Press Service), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

An attack on a madrassa – allegedly a Taliban training camp according to some Pakistan army officials – resulted in one of the highest recorded death tallies of the drones campaign. The school, run by Maulvi Liaqat (killed, possibly along with his three sons), was destroyed, resulting in more than 80 deaths. Ayman al-Zawahiri was reported by some to be the intended target, though he appears not to have been present. A report prepared by the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA) administration found that 81 died, stating: ’80 children 01 men all civilian’. Pakistani newspaper The News published the names and ages of 69 children, under the UN definition of a child as being under 18 years old. The discrepancy between the figures appears to be because the FATA Secretariat has also classified older students killed as ‘children’. Three tribal elders may also have died, and there were just three survivors, two named as Usman aged 15 or 16, and 22-year old Abu Bakr. Additionally a local farmer, Jan Mohammad, was reported murdered shortly after the attack, with a note on his body claiming he had been killed for spying for the US and Pakistan.

The attack led to uproar in Bajaur and across Pakistan, on a day that local militants were expected to sign a peace agreement with Islamabad. Although the Pakistan Army initially claimed it was responsible, blame was soon laid at the CIA’s door. A senior aide to Pakistan’s then-leader General Musharraf said:

We thought it would be less damaging if we said we did it rather than the US. But there was a lot of collateral damage and we’ve requested the Americans not to do it again.

In August 2011 former ISI director General Asad Durrani confirmed to IPS that the attack was the work of the US, stating that the drone attack ‘effectively sabotaged the chances for an agreement‘ in Bajaur and that it was ‘a very clear message‘ from the CIA not to enter into any more such peace agreements. However, Pervez Musharraf in June 2012 denied that a large number of children died, telling the New Statesman’s Jemima Khan that ‘It’s all bullshit – sorry for the word – that it was a madrassa and seminary and children were studying Quran. They used this as cover.’ He added confusingly when asked about reports of children killed:

I don’t remember. In the media, they said it was all children. They were absolutely wrong. There may have been some collateral damage of some children but they were not children at all, they were all militants doing training inside.’

In March 2012, the Washington Post ran a profile of the long-serving head of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center [CTC], ‘Roger’, noting that the CIA had planned for months an expansion of its Pakistan drones campaign:

When Michael V. Hayden became CIA director in May 2006, Roger began laying the groundwork for an escalation of the drone campaign. Over a period of months, the CTC chief used regular meetings with the director to make the case that intermittent strikes were allowing al-Qaeda to recover and would never destroy the threat. “He was relentless,” said a participant in the meetings. Roger argued that the CIA needed to mount an air campaign against al-Qaeda “at a pace they could not absorb” and warned that “after the next attack, there would be no explaining our inaction.”

The dead students were later named by The News as follows (ages in brackets):

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Chenegai near Damadola, Bajaur Agency.

ReferencesThe NewsDawnCNN,  BBCWashington PostABC News (archived)NBC NewsFamily Security MattersSunday Times (paywall), The NewsEconomistThe Newsuruknet.comLong War JournalNew York Times (AP)Sunday Times (paywall), The NewsNew York TimesThe BureauInter Press ServiceWashington PostNew StatesmanThe NewsThe NewsAsia TimesThe NewsThe NewsAsian Human Rights Commission report 2006Bureau
January 2007 – December 2007

B7 – January 16 2007
♦ 8 total killed
♦ 8 civilians reported killed, including one child
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Named relative and witness (ReutersAssociated Press), unnamed tribesmen and named local politician (The News)

A strike took place on a ‘Taliban facility’. Initial claims of 30 Taliban killed were lowered to eight deaths, who villagers insist were all innocent woodcutters. The nephew and son of local Awaz (or Hawas) Khan were among the dead. ‘No foreigner or Afghan was killed in this attack. Only labourers from the Mehsud and Salmanzai tribes were killed,’ Khan told Reuters. The News quoted local councillor Said Anwar who named some of those killed:

“I spoke to people in our village and was told that Katoor Khan, son of Chaghan Khan, Taj Alam son of Hawas Khan, and Taj Alam’s 10-year old cousin, all hailing from Kot Killay village were killed along with five unidentified Afghan nomads, known as powindahs. Some of the bodies were badly burnt and dismembered,” he explained. He said there were only six houses in the place that was attacked but women and children in one of the houses had a miraculous escape. He claimed the locals who were killed and wounded in the attack were small contractors who logged timber from the forests and made charcoal from wood with the help of the Afghan labourers.

One unexploded missile at the site (of a type not known to be used by Predators) carried the markings AM York 0873, indicating it was an old ‘dumb’ missile made in the United States. There were also reports that the Pakistan military played a role in the attack.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Zamazola area of Shaktoi, South Waziristan.
 DawnAssociated PressReutersUXO InfoThe News

B8 – April 27 2007
♦ 3-4 total killed
♦ 3-4 civilians reported killed
♦ 3-9 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Named eyewitness (The News), unnamed locals identify civilian casualties by name (Dawn), named eyewitness (Associated Press).

A 3.30am attack in the vicinity of the Darul Uloom Hassania madrassa run by Maulvi Noor Mohammad (see B5) killed up to four people and injured at least three. Mohammad Habib Khan, whose home was also severely damaged in the attack, told AP that the roof had collapsed, killing four ‘guests.’ He added:  ‘I don’t know whether these missiles were fired from some plane or not, but those killed in the attack were not terrorists.’ Locals named the dead as ‘Jan Muhammad, belonging to the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe from a village near Wana in South Waziristan, Zahid [or Zahidullah] son of Gul Sabir Khan from Esokhel village near Miranshsh, and Afghan refugee Dilawar, son of Rahmatullah, from Khost.’ Dawn also named Abdul Ghafoor as being killed though it also quoted a local resident of the same name. The paper noted:

Their funeral near Miramshah was attended by a large number of tribesmen. Three bodies were buried in Miramshah and one sent to South Waziristan.

A Washington Post profile of long-serving CIA Counter Terrorism Center [CTC] head ‘Roger’ reported that this period saw the introduction of the Agency’s so-called ‘signature strikes‘:

The CTC chief proposed launching what came to be known as “signature strikes,” meaning attacks on militants based solely on their patterns of behavior. Previously, the agency had needed confirmation of the presence of an approved al-Qaeda target before it could shoot. With permission from the White House, it would begin hitting militant gatherings even when it wasn’t clear that a specific operative was in the drone’s crosshairs.

Location: Saidgai, Datta Khel tehsil, North Waziristan.
Daily TimesDawnSATPLong War JournalAPWashington PostThe News

B8a – May 22 2007
♦ 3-4 killed
♦ 0-1 child reported killed
♦ 3 injured
A CIA drone strike was only reported on this date in April 2013, with the leaking of secret US intelligence documents to news agency McClatchy. The target was an alleged militant training camp in North Waziristan, with the strike said to have been carried out at the request of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service.  According to McClatchy, the ISI made the request after a Pakistan army assault was driven off. A source told McClatchy that Pakistan had requested the strike despite an agreement that ‘drones wouldn’t be used to support Pakistani troops in combat’.

Only one attack in Waziristan was noted at the time. According to The News, the status and identities of those killed was disputed. Although some news agencies reported the men to be Uzbek militants, villagers insisted those killed were locals:

The bodies of the four men were flown in a helicopter to Miranshah. Those who saw the bodies said they were young men aged 15 to 20 years. Tribesmen who identified them said three of them were from Paryat village, sited close to Zargarkhel where the military operation was conducted, while the fourth was from Dattakhel. The bodies were later taken to Paryat and Dattakhel for burial. Subsequently, another report said three of the dead were from Khyber Agency and the fourth was from Bajaur Agency. None of these reports were confirmed by any independent source.

In news reports at the time the Pakistan military claimed that the attack was its own work. Such ‘cover’  had previously been thought to have ended in 2006. Military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad told reporters that ‘Four miscreants were killed when security forces launched an operation to bust a terrorist training camp at Zargarkhel. Helicopters were also there.’ The attack also led to the resignation of 15 tribal elders overseeing a peace deal between Pakistan’s government and ‘good’ Taliban factions. Malik Nasrullah Khan, head of the tribal council, told Reuters:

The government sent us for negotiations with the mujahideen (militants) but they launched an attack before we returned and submitted our repor. Under the agreement, the government had to take us into confidence before conducting any operation. They didn’t do so and that’s why we’re resigning.’

Location: Zarghar Khel, North Waziristan
ReferencesMcClatchyAFPDeutsche Presse AgenturAssociated PressReutersReutersThe NewsThe News

B9 – June 19 2007
♦ 20-34 total killed
♦ 0-34 civilians reported killed, including possibly children
♦ 10-15 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed villagers and Pakistani intelligence officials (The News).

An attack killed up to 34 people with 18 ‘foreigners’ (Chechen, Uzbek and Arab) reportedly among the dead. While some reports described the attack as being on a small camp, others said that a religious seminary was hit, with claims that children present at the school were killed. A government official told Reuters the missiles had hit ‘three houses and a tent’. Residents told the Washington Post they had seen a drone fire at least two missiles, although Pakistani officials claimed the explosions were from a bomb-making accident.

ABC News reported that the camp at Mami Rhoga had recently held a ‘graduation ceremony’ for suicide bombers heading for ‘ the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany.’ It added:

The tape shows Taliban military commander Mansoor Dadullah, whose brother was killed by the US last month, introducing and congratulating each team as they stood. “These Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from faraway places,” Dadullah says on the tape. “Why shouldn’t we go after them?” The leader of the team assigned to attack Great Britain spoke in English. “So let me say something about why we are going, along with my team, for a suicide attack in Britain,” he said. “Whether my colleagues, companions and Muslim brothers die today or tonight, every drop of our blood will invigorate the Muslim (unintelligible).”

However the Washington Post cited respected local journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai as saying that local residents had told him missiles from a drone had actually destroyed ‘a religious school and several adjacent houses.’ In a piece also authored by Yusufzai, The News reported that ‘Quoting villagers in Mami Noma Manzarkhel, the remote village that was attacked with missiles, tribal and militants sources in Miranshah said 50 students and their teachers were present in the Binori Madrassa when it was hit and all of them were killed or injured… Most of those killed in the Madrassa in North Waziristan Tuesday were also stated to be young religious students.’ The following day, The News carried eyewitness reports from the scene which challenged whether a madrassa had been hit.

Location: Mami Rogha, North Waziristan.References:Long War JournalABC NewsWashington PostAssociated PressReutersThe NewsThe News

B10 – November 2 2007
♦ 5-10 total killed
♦ 6-12 injured
In one of the first CIA strikes on the Haqqani Network (a militant group involved in attacks on US forces in Afghanistan) this strike on a housing compound killed at least five alleged militants and wounded up to a dozen. The injured included caretaker Noor Khan Mehsud.

Location: Danda Darpakhel, near Miram Shah, North Waziristan.
New York TimesDawnSouth Asian OutlookPakistan Body Count

B11 – December 3 2007
♦ Total killed unknown
♦ 1 injured
A strike outside the FATA area reportedly injured Egyptian al Qaeda leader and ideologue Shaykh Issa al Masri. Any secret agreement between the US and Pakistan allowing for drone strikes is believed only to cover the tribal areas – making this a particularly sensitive attack. Details only later emerged via a leaked US intelligence document.

Location: Jani Khel, Bannu Frontier.
DawnLong War JournalAsia Times
January 2008 – June 2008

B12 – January 29 2008
♦ 12-15 total killed
♦ 4-6 civilians, including 2-3 children, reported killed
♦ 1-2 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed local officials and residents (Washington Post), unnamed sources (SATP), unnamed local residents (AFP), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior al Qaeda figure was killed along with 11-14 others including Abu Obeida Tawari al-ObeidiAbu Adel al-Kuwaitiand Abdel Ghaffar al-Darnawi in a 1.15am drone strike at an ‘Al Qaeda summit’. Qari Hussain Mehsud, also reported killed, later emerged alive. US-born militant Adam Gadahn was also rumoured by some sources to be the intended target of the attack. Two women and two or three children – the family of house owner Madad Khan (or Abdul Sattar) – were also reported killed. An internal Pakistani government document put the death toll at 12, noting ‘civilian’ without specifying how many of the dead this might apply to. Maulana Mahmood Hasan, a cleric in Mir Ali, told the Washington Post that he was friends with cab driver Abdul Sattar, whose house was hit:

Having ties with the Taliban is not a sin, and if somebody is accusing Sattar of any ties with the Taliban, then we are all culprits.’

Researchers from Stanford/NYU interviewed an eyewitness who had been disabled in the attack, under the pseudonym Waleed Shiraz. At the time of the strike he was a student at the National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad and had travelled home for the holidays. His unnamed father was killed in the attack. He told the researchers:

My father was asleep in the hujra as usual after a normal day, and I was studying nearby. . . . I had liked studying in the hujra, because it is peaceful and quiet. There was nothing different about our routine in the prior week… [When we got hit], [m]y father’s body was scattered in pieces and he died immediately, but I was unconscious for three to four days. . . . [Since then], I am disabled. My legs have become so weak and skinny that I am not able to walk anymore. . . . It has also affected my back. I used to like playing cricket, but I cannot do it anymore because I cannot run.

It was later claimed that this was the first CIA drone strike in which the US did not seek permission from Pakistan beforehand to attack. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared to acknowledge the covert campaign when he told reporters:

While this particular strike was very successful and we were very pleased with the outcome, there is still a great deal more work to do.

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Khushalinear Mir Ali, North Waziristan.
Long War Journal(PDF) International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism ResearchWashington PostDawnWikipediaThe EconomistAdnkronosAsia TimesAsia TimesAFPAssociated PressFinancial TimesSATP,  Info WarsSouth Asia Analysis (archived), South Asia Analysis (archived), ABC NewsStanford/NYU – Living Under DronesThe NewsCNNAssociated PressThe NewsBureau

B13 – February 28 2008
♦ 10-13 total killed
♦ Possible civilian deaths
♦ 6-16 injured
A 2am attack on a madrassa killed up to thirteen people, at least eight of whom were reported to be militants linked to Maulvi Nazir. Four were described as ‘Arabs’ and two as ‘Chechen’, with other reports suggesting that Afghan and Punjabi militants were among the dead. A record of drone strikes compiled by the FATA secretariat reported 10 people died and six were injured in the attack. Four of the dead were ‘local’ and the others were ‘non-local’. The News reported that ‘villagers in Kaloosha said soon after the incident, a large number of armed militants came out of their hideouts and cordoned off the area. The militants didn’t allow government officials to enter the village for collecting information about the incident.’ However the Pakistan Tribune reported villagers as saying that some or most of those killed were students.

The US later secretly claimed the dead were ‘foreign Al Qaeda trainees’. According to the Washington Post, this strike and others at this time were part of a ‘shake the tree’ strategy:

The goal was partly to jar loose information on senior al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants, by forcing them to move in ways that U.S. intelligence analysts can detect.’

An AFP report indicated that Pakistan’s military may still have been covering for some of the CIA’s drone strikes. ‘Chief military spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas told AFP that information from the area indicated the deaths were caused by explosive material stored in the house. “As per our information it was an explosion caused by explosive material in a house,” he said, adding that the blast reportedly killed 10 to 12 people. Their nationalities were not known, he said.’

Location: Kaloosha, Azam Warsak, South Waziristan.
DawnPakistan TribuneWashington PostSATPReutersAsia TimesUS secret memoAFPThe NewsBureau

B14 – March 16 2008
♦ 18-20 total killed
♦ 0-4 civilians reported killed
♦ 5-9 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Field researchers identified four civilian casualties by name (Bureau).

An attack on the home of tribal elder Noorullah Wazir killed at least 18 ‘non-locals’ according to internal data collected by the tribal agency authorities. Dr Arshad Waheed, who ran a local health clinic, was among those who died. A leaked US intelligence document simply noted that ‘more Al Qaeda trainees were killed’. Although some claimed at the time that Waheed was a humble doctor, al Qaeda later issued a video showing the armed medic at one of its training facilities. The Bureau’s field researchers reported four civilians among those killed, named as BakhanNoorullah Jan (likely the homeowner), Ilyas and Jamil. All of them belonged to the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe.

Head of the Pakistan army General Kayani later secretly complained to Centcom that:

Certain U.S. actions, such as the Predator strike in the Wazir area on March 16, only serve to “upset the balance” in that area and illustrated U.S. misunderstanding of the “complexity” in the FATA.

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Doag or Dhook Pir Bagh, South Waziristan.
Geo TV,Long War JournalGlobal Jihad monitoring serviceAFPLong War JournalSATPUS secret memoYouTube (jihadist video)US diplomatic cableThe NewsBureau

Dr Arshad Waheed seen firing weapons in a militant propaganda video

B15 – May 14 2008
♦ 12-20 total killed
♦ 4-6 civilians, including 1-4 children
♦ 9 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed sources (UruknetDawn), named Taliban spokesman (Long War JournalDawnGeo TV), reports (Guardian).

A rare strike outside Waziristan on a house and adjoining mosque was initially reported to have killed Abu Sulayman al-Jazairi, an al Qaeda weapons expert (he actually died in a drone strike on April 29 2009, Ob14). Up to 20 people died including at least 11 militants. The brother of local militant commander Abdul Wali Raghib was among those killed, named as Shah Wali. There were also reports that women and children died. The News reported that the attacked housing compound was ‘owned by Maulana Ubaidullah and Maulana Taj Muhammad, maternal uncles of militants’ chief commander in Bajaur Maulana Faqir Muhammad.’ A Taliban spokesman confirmed that at least 11 militants had died, along with a grandson of Taj Muhammad. Also named as killed were three ‘adolescents’, ZaheerNajibullah and Shahkir. However there were conflicting reports as to whether the spokesman confirmed or denied that women had died in the attack.

Angry villagers turned away government officials trying to visit the site, and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Gilani later condemned the attack, the first since he took office, stating: ‘I strongly condemn this. It’s absolutely wrong. It’s unfair. They should not have done this action. Several innocent people have been killed. We condemn it.’ The attack took place on the day of a prisoner exchange between the Pakistan Army and the Taliban. At the funeral of locals killed in the strike militant Faqir Mohammed told the crowds:

The missile strike was aimed at subverting the peace process between the government and the Pakistani Taliban but we will not allow this conspiracy to succeed. We want peace and do not want further bloodshed in Pakistan. We are defenders of the frontiers of Pakistan and our basic aim is to defend its sovereignty.’

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Damadola, Bajaur
DawnReutersWikiLeaksLong War Journaluruknet.comLong War JournalANIGeoTVLos Angeles TimesGuardianDawnThe NewsPTIThe NewsBureau

B16 – June 14 2008
♦ 1 total killed
♦ 0-1 civilians reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

An attack was aimed at a possible hideout of Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. One person was reported killed, an alleged militant according to some reports. However a document prepared by the FATA administration said the casualty in this attack was a civilian. It lists this strike as taking place on June 15 and states that three missiles were fired. This was the first known strike against the leader of Pakistan’s home-grown Taliban, the Tehreek-e-Taliban or TTP. In his book Intel Wars Matthew Aid reports:

The CIA thought they had found the hideout of the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, and told the Pakistanis they were going to hit the location with a drone strike. According to the CIA official, Mehsud mysteriously disappeared from the house shortly before three Hellfire missiles leveled it.

Aid does not explain why Pakistani officials might assist Mehsud’s TTP, by then wreaking terrorist havoc across Pakistan.

Location: Makeen, South Waziristan.
 Geo TVAFPDaily TimesIntel Wars/ Aid pp108-109Pakistan Express (Urdu), Bureau
July 2008 – September 2008

B17 – July 28 2008
♦ 7-12 total killed
♦ 1-5 civilians, including 0-2 children, reportedly killed
♦ 3 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: CIA secretly apologises for causing ‘colateral damage’ (Washington Post), unnamed residents (Los Angeles Times), unnamed security officials (AFP).

A strike on a seminary killed al Qaeda’s ‘chemical weapons team’: leader Abu Khabab al Masri; Abu Mohammad Ibrahim bin Abi al Faraj al Masri, a religious leader; Abdul Wahhab al Masri and Abu Islam al Masri all died. A US counter terrorism official told the Los Angeles Times shortly after the attack:

There is indeed a sense that he’s gone. This guy [Abu Khabab] not only had knowledge that was dangerous but did dangerous things with it.

Up to two young boys and a woman were listed by some as as killed, the family of Abu Khabab. Al Qaeda also reported that ‘several of their children’ died. However AFP reported that while Khabab’s 18 year old son was killed, his second wife, a Pakistani, and another son ‘were being treated at a hospital in Wana.’ The FATA government’s internal drone strike records showed seven ‘non-local’ people were killed in this strike. Local militant commander Maulvi Nazir said that the head of the seminary and an unspecified number of students also died. The CIA secretly apologised the next day for ‘collateral damage’ during a meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Yousef Raza Gilani, according to the Washington Post.

In May 2013, Asia Times identified a man with the false name ‘Sher Khan’ as having supplied intelligence to the US which had resulted in the attack.  The Taliban later attempted to capture him:

One evening in 2008, on the seventh of Ramadan [September 8th], Sher Khan was traveling home on his motorcycle from a neighboring village when a group of Taliban asked him to stop. He asked them to let him park his bike but instead took off and managed to escape, eventually reaching Peshawar. After spending a week in there, Khan left for Islamabad and applied for a visa to Abu Dhabi to work as a light vehicle driver. He left for Abu Dhabi later that year, and he still works there as a pickup truck driver. Khan has been forbidden by the Taliban from entering his hometown, and if they even find out he is somewhere else in Pakistan they have vowed to kill him.

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Zeralita, Azam Warsak, South Waziristan
References: Long War JournalNefa Foundation Al Qaeda announcement PDFDawnLong War JournalGeo TVLong War JournalLos Angeles TimesAFPThe NewsThe NewsAsia Times OnlineBureau

B18 – August 12 2008
♦ 12-25 total killed
♦ 0-5 civilians reported killed
♦ 0-4 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Field researchers identified civilian casualties by name (Bureau).

A rare apparent attack on Hezb-i-Islami killed ‘good’ Taliban commanders Abdul RehmanIslam Wazir and between 10-23 other suspected militants. Rehman’s militant brother Mohammad Islam also reportedly died. According to the Bureau’s researchers in Waziristan five civilians were killed in the attack, named by them as FarmanImranLatifSardar and Najid. All belonged to the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe. The News reported that injured women and children were treated at the local hospital. Abdul Islam was also reportedly killed.

leaked US intelligence report said of the attack:

Predator killed foreign fighters and militants associated with HVT Usama Al-Kini and commander Nazir.

However according to the local tribal administration’s internal data, this was a ‘NATO/ANA [Afghan National Army] attack’, adding that ’12 locals’ were killed.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Bhaggar, South Waziristan
References: Long War JournalGeo TVReutersThe NewsUS secret memoThe NewsBureauExpress News (Urdu)

B19 – August 20 2008
♦ 6-12 total killed
♦ 5 injured
Up to a dozen people were killed in an attack possibly targeting militant Haji Yaqub Wazir, who had played a key role in peace agreements with Pakistan’s military. Local residents described seeing an injured Yaqub pulled from the wreckage of his home. Some reports described ‘missiles’ as having come from the Afghan side of the border. However a secret US intelligence report leaked in February 2010 later confirmed that the attack was by a CIA drone:

A drone killed and injured multiple foreign Al Qaeda members and local associates, including some Haqqani Network associates. An Al Qaeda facilitator (house owner) Haji Yacoub was injured.

Location: Zari Noor, Wana, South Waziristan.
References:Associated Press of PakistanAFPDawnAssociated PressSATPUS secret intelligence reportLong War JournalBureau

B20 – August 27 2008
♦ 0 total killed
♦ 4 injured
A secret US document identifies a previously unknown (and failed) attack:

A Predator attempted to target an Al Qaeda-associated meeting but missed target. It did not cause collateral damage.

In fact the missile reportedly hit the house of Sardali Khan wounding a woman, two boys and a girl.

Location: Ganki Khel, South Waziristan.
References: allvoices.comThe Daily TimesUS secret intelligence report

B21 – August 30 2008
♦ 4-5 total killed
♦ 4 injured
Up to five people were killed, including two Arab-Canadians – the first known westerners to be killed in a drone strike in Pakistan. Internal records collected by the local tribal administration showed five people were killed in this attack, two of them classed as ‘non-locals’. The attack reportedly took place on the house of Noor Khan Wazir, in territory associated with ‘good’ Taliban leader Maulvi Nazir. While making no reference to the Canadians, secretly the US claimed:

[The] strike killed Al Qaeda paramilitary operatives subordinate to Al Qaeda commander and East Africa Embassy bomber Usama Al Kini.

Location: Gangi Khel, South Waziristan.
ReferencesDawnSATPLong War JournalUS secret intelligence reportDaily TimesMSNBCAssociated PressThe NewsBureau

B22 – August 30 2008
♦ 6-11 total killed
♦ 2-9 civilians reported killed, including 1-4 children
♦ 2-8 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed residents and officials (AFPExpress Urdu), foreign agency report and unnamed officials (Geo TV), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau)

At least six people were killed including alleged Arab and Uzbek militants. AFP reported that a woman and a little girl nearby were killed by shrapnel, the wife and daughter of village schoolteacher Raees Khan. However an internal FATA administration document recorded 11 people killed in all, among them nine civilians: five women, including the wife and daughter of ‘local’ Ihsanullah, and four children. The Express (Urdu) instead said that two women died and a child was injured. Eight local people were reportedly injured. Dawn reported that the house of Nasir Dawar was damaged in the attack, while the Express named him as Sawar Khan Dawar. The News reported:

Residents said some guests, a term generally used for foreign nationals affiliated with al-Qaeda operatives, were staying in the village but they did not know about their nationality and rank in the terror network.

The US secretly claimed that ‘two [unnamed] prominent al Qaeda paramilitary commanders’ died, with no mention of the civilian casualties. Some reports listed this strike for August 31.

Location: Ghundikala, North Waziristan.
 Geo TVDawnDaily TimesSATPLong War JournalAFP (archived), US secret intelligence reportAssociated PressThe NewsPakistan Express (Urdu), Bureau

Related article: ‘You cannot call me lucky’ – over 1,100 people injured by drones

B23 – September 2 2008
♦ 0-10 total killed
♦ 0-1 injured
The location of this strike was a mystery at first. The only details came from a leaked secret US intelligence report:

A Predator killed four to 10 persons associated with Al Qaeda commander and logistician Abu Wafa Al Saudi.

No further information about the strike was reported until the Bureau obtained a copy of an internal FATA secretariat document in 2013. It placed the strike in Datta Khel tehsil. The Pakistani data showed one ‘local’ was  injured but it did not note any further casualties.

Location: Mohammad Khel, Datta Khel, North Waziristan
ReferencesUS secret intelligence reportDawnBureau

B23c – September 4 2008
♦ 5 total killed
♦ 0-5 civilians reported killed
♦ 3-4 injured
Internal data collected by the FATA government said ‘an attack’ hit Char Khel, near Miranshah, on September 3 2009, killing five and injuring four. An unspecified number of civilians were reported killed. The database is a record of drone strikes and cross-border Nato assaults and this strike could be a second Nato ground attack of the day. The first according to the FATA government records hit four houses on the Afghan border near Angor Adha, killing 18.

Location: Char Khel, North Waziristan

B24 – September 4 2008
♦ 5-7 total killed
♦ 3-4 injured
Drones killed al Qaeda logistician Abu Wafa al Saudi along with up to six others (all reported as Arabs) in an attack on the house of Farman Dawar (also killed). Villagers took part in the rescue operation.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Mohammad Khel, North Waziristan.
DawnNew York TimesWikipediaBlogtownhall.comSATPGeo TVThe NewsDawn

B25 – September 5 2008
♦ 5-12 total killed
♦ 5-7 civilians, including 3-4 children, reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed witnesses (Geo TV), unnamed intelligence official (Reuters), named source (New York Times), unnamed officials (Dawn), unnamed officials and residents (AFP), 

Up to seven civilians, all of them women and children, were reported killed in a US drone strike on the Pakistan-Afghan border. Although most sources reported that the attack took place in Pakistan, the New York Times claimed that the attack was on Al Must, just inside Afghanistan. The strike destroyed two houses, with some sources reporting that alleged militants may also have died. The New York Times, for example, noted that along with five civilians killed up to seven men of ‘Arab descent’ died.

Location: Gurwak, Miranshah, North Waziristan.
References: Geo TVReutersNew York TimesSATPPress TVAPDawnAFPThe News

B26 – September 8 2008
♦ 17-23 total killed
♦ 11-20 civilians, including 5-8 children, reported killed
♦ 14-25 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed Taliban source (CNN), unnamed sources (Dawn), unnamed intelligence officials (New York Times), unnamed Pakistani officials (al Jazeera), eyewitness (Reuters), reports (McClatchy), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

A major strike on the home of the Haqqani Network’s leader killed many of his family along with Abu Haris, Al Qaeda’s chief in Pakistan; Saudis Abdullah and Abu Hamza, an explosives expert and al Qaeda commander in Pewshawar; Zain Ul Abu Qasim aka Hakaimi, an Egyptian Al Qaeda chief; and 19 others. Dawn reported that ‘the family home, a guesthouse and a seminary owned by Maulvi Jalaluddin were destroyed.’ The local administration collected data on drone strikes in internal records. According to these records five missiles hit the madrassa killing 23 people including eight women, five children and seven male civilians. However many family members of Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani were reportedly among the dead including eight grandchildren (mostly girls), a wife, his elder sister, his sister-in-lawtwo nieces, possibly a son and other relatives. Girls from the village may also have been killed. And al Jazeera noted that ‘Doctors reported that more than 20 wounded – mostly women and children – were taken to Miranshah’s main hospital.’

The US secretly admitted that it had caused civilian deaths:

A Predator killed several Haqqani sub-commanders and a number of Arabs. Members of the extended Haqqani family were killed.

In a rare outburst, France’s foreign ministry spokesman condemned as ‘counterproductive’ the ‘bombings that took place in Pakistan and left civilian casualties, in particular in the Pakistani tribal areas on Monday.’For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Danda Darpakhel, North Waziristan
 CNNDawnAllVoicesNew York TimesAl JazeeraSATPThe NewsReutersUS secret intelligence reportLong War Journal, The NewsThe NewsGuardian,McClatchyBureau

B27 – September 12 2008
♦ 12-15 total killed
♦ 3-5 civilians reported killed inc 3 women and 2 children
♦ 14 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Local security officials and local residents (Express Urdu), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau)

An early morning attack on a former school killed between 10 and 15 people, with nearby houses also reported damaged. The Express (Urdu) reported that 12 members of one family died in the 5.30am attack, and that whilst most were ‘local Taliban’, three women and two children were among the dead. The alleged militants killed were reported by other sources to be members of a Kashmiri group known as al-Badr. Fourteen people were also reported wounded. The US secretly claimed:

A Predator killed 10 to 15 militants associated with Al Qaeda facilitator Qari Imran’s training camp.

The destroyed building reportedly belonged to a local variously named as Shah Adam, Yusuf Khan or Shadim Khan (who had rented it out.)

Location: Miran Shah, North Waziristan.
References: Dawnallvoices.comAFPUS secret intelligence reportExpress (Urdu), Bureau

B28 – September 17 2008
♦ 4-7 total killed
♦ 3 injured
Up to seven alleged militants were reported killed (three of them ‘Arabs’) and three injured in an attack on a house said to belong to supporters of militant leader Maulvi Nazir. The last dated entry for the secret US intelligence report notes:

A Predator killed 4-6 militants delivering rockets to a militant camp near the Afghan border and probably HVT Abu Ubaydh Al Tunisi.

There are no known records of al Tunisi being active following this strike.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Bhaggar, South Waziristan.
 DawnBBC Newsallvoices.comISS report on Tunisian extremistsSATPXinhuaNew York TimesUS secret intelligence reportBureau

B29 – September 30 2008
♦ 4-8 total killed
♦ 5-9 injured
After tribesmen fired on three drones circling their village, a Predator killed up to eight people in an 11.30pm strike on a house said to be owned by a man named as Dossel. Those killed were reported as ‘mostly Middle eastern and Central Asian’, with up to nine injured. Geo TV reported a local security official as stating:

After the drones came under fire a missile hit a house in the village. We have four dead now and another nine people were injured.’

Location: Khushali, North Waziristan
References: Ottowa Citizen (agencies), Geo TVDawn
October 2008 – December 2008

B30 – October 3 2008
♦ 3 total killed
♦ 3 civilians, including one child, reported killed
♦ 5 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed intelligence officials (SATPReuters), reports (Long War Journal), unnamed Pakistani officials (Daily Telegraph

Two women and a child were killed in a 5.30am strike on two houses which also injured five men. Some reports claimed this was a NATO airstrike rather than a drone attack. The Pakistani tribal administration had been recording data on drone and NATO strikes in the tribal agencies it emerged in 2013. However this strike was not listed among those in the document.

Location: Mohammad Khel, Datta Khel, North Waziristan.
ReutersSATPLong War JournalDaily TelegraphBBCBureau

B31 – October 3 2008
♦ 17-21 total killed
♦ 7-14 civilians, including 3 children, reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Field researchers identified civilian casualties by name (Bureau), unnamed local people (Dawn), funeral report (Dawn), unnamed intelligence official (ANI), 

As many as twenty one people including 7-8 alleged ‘foreign militants’, reported as either Arabs or from the al Badr group, were killed. Villager Bakht Ali later told news agencies:

We found body parts scattered all over the place in the ruins, someone’s hand, someone’s leg.’

Dawn reported that 14 local people were publicly buried: ‘Seven members of a family were killed in the attack on the house of Abdur Rehman, an Afghan national from Afghanistan’s Khost province. The dead were Abdur Rehman himself, his three sons, a son-of-law and two other relatives. Some reports alternatively named Afghan national Wazir Jan, who also died, as the house’s owner. However data collected by the tribal administration showed the house belonged to an Afghan national. The strike killed 17 people including 10 locals and seven non-locals.

The Bureau’s Waziristan researchers later named an additional five adults they said were among the other villagers killed in the attack as KamranSiddiqNoorul HaqZarmali Khan and Muhammad. They belonged to the Dawar tribe.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Mohammad Khel, Datta Khel, North Waziristan.
 DawnDawnTelegraphBBCANISATPLong War JournalNew York TimesBureauGeo TVExpress (Urdu)

B32 – October 9 2008
♦ 5-9 total killed
♦ 1-9 civilians, including 1-4 children, reported killed
♦ 2 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Law suit (Reprieve), unnamed residents (AFP), internal Pakistan casualty estimates (Bureau).

An attack allegedly aimed at a meeting of al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed up to nine people, including 4-6 ‘Arabs’. There were claims that Pakistani intelligence had compromised the strike. Many senior militants were said by some to have departed the meeting shortly before the attack: ‘There was a meeting of around 30 foreign Al-Qaeda and local Taliban commanders in the house of Hafiz Sahar Gul but the majority of them left the building ten minutes before the missile struck,’ a security official told AFP. AFP also reported that the wife and children of local Taliban commander Hafiz Sahar Gul, and another unknown woman were killed.

However lawyer Mirza Shahzad Akbar, representing Mohammad Yusuf, a surviving member of a family, challenged this version of events in a case placed before the UN Human Rights Council in February 2012:

Mohammad Yusuf is a resident of Dawar Tapi, Miranshah, North Waziristan, Pakistan. On Wednesday, October 9, 2008, he was in Ghundi Kala, at the house of his uncle Sultan Jan for a family gathering. In addition to Sultan Jan, others present at the house included: his cousin and son of Sultan Jan,  Bukhtoor Gul; his uncle Aman Ullah Jan, and his cousin, and son of Aman Ullah Jan, Imran Khan. Imran was aged 14 and half years of age. No members of his family were involved with any terrorist organizations or activities, and there were no foreign nationals living at the house.

At approximately 10 PM that evening Mohammad Yusuf left the compound surrounding the house to defecate in a nearby field. From the field he saw a missile strike his uncle’s house, destroying part of the house and killing his two uncles and his two cousins. The missile was launched from a drone, which had been flying around the area.

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Ghundikala, North Waziristan.
TelegraphDawnReutersAFPLong War JournalANISATPThe NewsReprieveBureau

B33 – October 11 2008
♦ 4-5 total killed
♦ 2 injured
The reputed house of Rahmat Jahan, situated in an abandoned Afghan refugee camp, was attacked killing up to five. While most reports only to ‘people’ killed, Dawn cited residents and local intelligence officials as saying that those killed were militants:

An intelligence official said five militants were killed in the attack on a house in a shanty neighbourhood known as Machis Colony. There were foreigners also among those killed and their number and nationality had not yet been ascertained, he said. “The mud-walled house has long been used by the guests as their abode,” he said, referring to the term used for the militants in the tribal areas.

A day earlier, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman accused the US of ‘helping the terrorists’ by destabilising Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Location: Machis, North Waziristan.
DawnGeo TVLong War JournalThe NewsDawnBureau

B34 – October 16 2008
♦ 2-9 total killed
♦ 0-4 civilians reported killed
♦ 1-7 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed Pakistani intelligence official and eyewitnesses (CNN).

Egyptian Khalid Habib, al Qaeda’s chief of external operations, was reported killed in his parked vehicle along with up to four ‘militants’. But a local Pakistani intelligence source and eyewitnesses told CNN that four civilians were also killed and seven injured when three nearby houses were damaged in the attack. One house was owned by local tribesman Ghazi Khan Mehsud.

Habib reportedly moved to Tapargai to escape drone strikes, the New York Times said:

Mr. Habib had relocated to Taparghai expressly to avoid missile strikes, [a] former militant said. The area around Taparghai is near Makin, a base of Baitullah Mehsud, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban. Mr. Habib was in a parked Toyota station wagon, a favored vehicle of the militants in the tribal area, when he was hit by the missile, the former member of the militant group said. A resident of the village said in a telephone interview that the man killed in the attack seemed to be “important.” He was known in the village as Zalfay, the resident said. The name means “long hair” in Pashto, the language spoken in the area.

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Taparghai, South Waziristan.
CNNLong War JournalAsia TimesNew York TimesThe NewsNew York TimesBureau

Related article: Analysis: the covert drone war

B35 – October 23 2008
♦ 8-11 total killed
♦ 7-10 civilians, mostly children, reported killed
♦ 6-11 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Named source (Deutsche Presse Agentur), reports (BBC), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

An attack on a seminary allegedly linked to the Haqqani Network killed up to eleven people. Some reports stated that those killed were militants, naming some as: ‘Mirza Ali KhanEid Muhammad from Wana in South Waziristan; Qadir Khan and Gul Wali Shah, residents of Azam Warsak, a town near Wana; and Salim Guand Abdul Wali hailing from the Dawar tribe in North Waziristan’. However the BBC said that seven students were killed, while German agency DPA said that 10 students ‘aged 12 to 18’ had died. A named local, Zardad Khantold the New York Times that ‘They were all local people’. And Dawn reported that eleven people were wounded – with three named as Sangeen, Bekhtullah and Rehmatullah.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Danda Darpakhel, Miram Shah, North Waziristan.
BBCDawnGeo TVNew York TimesDeutsche Press AgenturThe NewsDawnBureau

B36 – October 26 2008
♦ 18-20 total killed
♦ 0-4 civilians, including 0-3 children, reported killed
♦ 2 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Field researchers identified civilian casualties, three by name (Bureau).

An attack on Maulvi Nazir‘s network killed ‘twenty militants’, it was initially claimed although an internal tribal agency administration document recorded 18 local people killed in this attack. Haji Omar aka Mohammed Omar was falsely reported killed (he appears to have died in Ob52 on December 31 2009). Two of his brothers, Elda Jan and Shakum, and three nephews (unknown age) reportedly died; nearby homes were also damaged.

The Bureau’s Waziristan researchers identified four civilians killed as ‘Nasrullah from the Dawar tribe, Umar from the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe and Naeem from the Utmanzai Wazir tribe. The name of the fourth slain person isn’t known.’ Prime Minister Gillani subsequently issued a formal protest to the US Ambassador, Anne Patterson, who was told:

It was emphasized that such attacks were a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and should be stopped immediately.’

Pakistan’s Senate also passed a unanimous motion condemning the strike.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Mandata, South Waziristan.
Geo TVDawnBBCAssociated PressNew York TimesAFPThe News

B37 – October 31 2008
♦ 4-25 total killed
♦ 1-20 civilians reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau), reports (Uruknet).

An attack allegedly killed al Qaeda’s propaganda boss (or ‘low level militant’) Egyptian Abu Jihad al Masri (aka Mohammad Hasan Khalil al Hakim) and leader Abu Kasha or Akash. The latter appeared to be alive as of August 2011, though as Dawn reported: ‘A son of Abu Akash was killed with Al Qaeda leader Abu Hamza Rabia in a missile attack in the same village on Nov 30, 2005.’ The reputed house of Amanullah or Sher Zaman was set on fire in the attack, which also destroyed a vehicle. A local intelligence official told agencies:

The house was demolished and caught fire. People were trying to pull out the dead and the injured from the rubble but the fire was hampered their efforts.

The Nation also reported: ‘The first missile hit a four-wheel drive vehicle carrying Akash and his comrades just as it was entering the compound, which was targeted by another strike seconds later. It was not immediately clear whether the house or the vehicle, a pick-up truck, was blown up first, officials said.’ Civilians may have died in the strike according to a single source which offered no citation – though some reports, including Taliban sources, contested the high casualty numbers.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Asori, North Waziristan.
References: BBCAFPDawnUruknetThe NewsThe NationLos Angeles TimesDawnPajhwok [broken link], The NewsDeutsche Presse-AgenturExpress (Urdu)

B38 – October 31 2008
♦ 4-12 total killed
♦ 1 civilian killed
♦ 2-30 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed sources (The News), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

There was wide variation in the numbers of casualties reported. Between four and twelve people were killed, including up to six ‘foreigners’, and 2-30 injured in a strike against local Taliban leader Maulvi Nazir who was himself wounded. One of Nazir’s comrades later told The News: ‘It was our good luck that the drones fired two missiles on the room next to him and razed it to the ground.’ The house of Mohammad Haroon Wazir was destroyed in the attack and Haroon – a relative of Nazir – was reported killed. Six people were injured according to data collected by the FATA political administration. The strike almost ended Pakistan’s peace deal with Nazir’s faction. A senior commander told The News shortly after the attack:

Maulvi Nazeer Sahib has asked me to convey his message and this is our last ultimatum to the government. Then we will pick up arms and will fight against our own government and security forces instead of crossing the border for Jihad against the US-led forces in Afghanistan.’

Location: Dhook Pir Bagh, South Waziristan.
Geo TVAFPDawnAFPThe NewsBBCThe NationLos Angeles TimesPajhwokBureau

B39 – November 7 2008
♦ 11-16 total killed
♦ 6-11 civilians reported killed
♦ 17 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Field researchers identified civilian casualties by name (Bureau), internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

An attack on a ‘training facility of Hafiz Gul Bahadar’ (in a peace deal with Pakistan’s military) killed up to sixteen alleged militants. However Geo TV described the target as a house owned by local Ghani Gul, in an attack which killed ‘five foreigners.’ The New York Times said that eight locals and five foreigners had been reported killed. And internal Pakistan data uncovered by the Bureau showed 11 people were killed in this strike, including an unspecified number of civilians.

Pakistan’s president and prime minister both condemned the attack. However the CIA later told Pakistan’s President Zardari that ‘many Westerners, including some US passport holders’ died in this strike – details the CIA continues to keep secret (Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward). According to Woodward

The CIA would not reveal the particulars due to the implications under American law. A top secret CIA map detailing the attacks had been given to the Pakistanis. Missing from it was the alarming fact about the American deaths … The CIA was not going to elaborate.’

Although no civilians were reported killed at the time, the Bureau’s Waziristan researchers later identified six they said had been killed, named as Dil NawazYousafAshrafNaimatullahTaj Mohammad and Musa, all of the Utmanzai Wazir tribe.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Kumsham, North Waziristan.
AFPGeo TVLong War JournalDawnWiredNew York TimesWashington PostGeo TVDaily TimesReutersANIThe NewsBureau

B40 – November 14 2008
♦ 11-13 total killed
♦ 3-12 civilians reported killed
♦ 2 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed sources (Dawn), unnamed intelligence officials (Daily Times), unnamed local tribesmen (The News).

Up to 13 people were killed in a strike on a house on the border between North and South Waziristan. The home owner was possibly killed – he was named variously as local tribesman Amir Khan (whose father reportedly died in a clash with Nato forces in Afghanistan in 2007) Ameer Gul and Mir Gul. Up to nine ‘Arabs’ also reportedly died in the attack, along with at least three people later identified as Khan’s relatives. A single report claimed that eleven members of one family died, while The News stated:

Three of the dead were identified as close family members of Amir Gul, who was not present in his house at the time of the strike. Tribesmen claimed that all the dead were local people and that nine bodies were mutilated beyond recognition. Authorities, however, insisted that at least nine of the dead were militants but did not confirm if there was any foreigner in the house.

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Garyom, North Waziristan.
ReutersDawnSATPDaily TimesGeo TV (cached)Al ArabiyaThe News

B41 – November 19 2008
♦ 3-6 total killed
♦ 0-3 civilians killed
♦ 7 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

This second strike outside FATA (although the first publicly known, with the first on December 3 2007), was probably aimed at the Quetta Shura, the ruling council of militant groups in the region. The 3am attack killed al Qaeda’s Abdullah Azzam al Saudi and ‘at least’ five others, ‘one Arab and two Turkmen’ according to the US embassy, (or four Turkmen according to the Express) and an alleged local fighter named as Rafiullah. The local tribal administration’s internal drone strike records showed three people were killed, including an unspecified number of civilians. The Express (Urdu) said that seven were injured though only one man, house owner Sakhi Mohammed Wazir, required hospital treatment. Renting the house was a ‘Taliban militant’ named as Dilber or Darpand. However local policeman Mohammad Alam insisted all those killed were locals.

The attack provoked Pakistani outrage. In a secret cable the US Ambassador wrote back to Washington:

The first strike within ‘Pakistan proper’ is seen as a watershed event, and the media is suggesting this could herald the spread of attacks to Peshawar or Islamabad. Even politicians who have no love lost for a dead terrorist are concerned by strikes within what is considered mainland Pakistan.

Pakistani politicians of all stripes, including those from the most ardently anti-terrorist parties, are facing growing political pressure to condemn U.S. attacks. As the gap between private GOP acquiescence and public condemnation for U.S. action grows, Pakistani leaders who feel they look increasingly weak to their constituents could begin considering stronger action against the U.S., even though the response to date has focused largely on ritual denunciation.’

Local militants also reported that they would carry out attacks in Pakistan-proper as a result of Islamabad’s alleged complicity in the CIA strikes. And local MP Adnan Khan demanded that ‘the government immediately stops these attacks.’For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Jani Khel, Bannu Fontier.
Fox NewsCNNIANSDawnPakistan Body CountDawnThe NationExpress (Urdu)BBCANIDawnGeo TVThe NationAl JazeeraGeo TVBBCSky NewsUS diplomatic cableThe NewsExpress (Urdu), Bureau

Pakistani tribesmen offer funeral prayers for the victims of  missile strike attack in the main town of Miran Shah on February 15, 2009 / Getty

B42 – November 22 2008
♦ 4-6 total killed
♦ 6 injured
♦ 0-1 civilians reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Internal Pakistan casualty estimate (Bureau).

Rashid Rauf, a British al Qaeda-linked operative and a suspect in a 2006 plane-bombing plot, was reportedly killed alongside Egyptian explosives expert Abu Zubair al-Masri and up to four others. Two locals were killed in this strike, and two people were injured, according to data collected by the political administration of the tribal agencies. And the reputed house of Khaliq Noor was destroyed.

Some commentators have questioned whether Rauf died in the attack, with reports claiming in April 2009 that he was still alive. In 2012 Rauf’s family announced plans to sue the UK government for allegedly sharing intelligence with the US that may have led to his death in a drone strike. A relative told a local reporter: ‘The Americans could not have found and killed him without help from British intelligence officers who shared information. The family want answers. They want to see the evidence that Rashid was a dangerous terrorist.’  While some took this as confirmation from the family that Rauf had died in November 2008, anonymous US intelligence operatives told the Long War Journal that although it initially appeared Rauf had been killed in 2008,  he was likely to have survived and to have been killed in a different strike. One official involved in the drone campaign told LWJ:

It is often difficult to determine when an al Qaeda leader or operative was killed or if they survived targeting. We don’t have a body, we can’t go there to investigate. The fact is, that despite our persistent targeting [with drones], the FATA [Pakistan’s tribal areas] remains a no-go area. This is Taliban territory.

For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Ali Khel, Miranshah, North Waziristan.
CNNThe Times (paywall)BBCThe NationPTVThe TelegraphDawnLong War JournalGeo TVIndependentThe Times (paywall)Daily MailWestpoint Counter Terrorism CenterFinancial TimesThe GuardianNew York TimesBirmingham MailLong War JournalThe NewsThe NewsAlqamar (Urdu), Bureau

B43 – November 27 2008
♦ 5 total killed
Five alleged members of the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) were killed in an attack on a moving vehicle attributed either to an improvised explosive device (a roadside bomb) or to a drone.

Location: Wana, South Waziristan.
KunaSATPDawnThe News

B44 – November 29 2008
♦ 2-3 total killed
♦ 0-3 civilians, possibly including children, reported killed
♦ 2-3 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports:Unnamed sources (Frontier Post).

An attack took place on a house adjacent to the bazaar, identified in some reports as belonging to Professor Taj Mohammad. Two or three people were killed, reported as ‘locals’, ‘tribesmen’ or by one source as civilians, possibly including children. Two of the injured were listed as ‘Adnan and his wife’, who were reportedly taken to a hospital in Miramshah.

Location: Chashma, Miranshah, North Waziristan.
 CNNFrontier PostReutersDawnXinhuaThe NewsBureau

B45 – December 5 2008
♦ 3-4 total killed
♦ 2 injured
Three or four alleged militants were killed and two people were injured in an attack on a house. According to data collected by the FATA government, three Turkmen were killed when a US drone targeted ‘a hideout’. One missile missed its target, landing in a nearby field.

Location: Kateera, North Waziristan.
 Daily TimesDawnGeo TVAssociated PressSATPBureau

B45c – December 5 2008
♦ No reported casualties
In July 2013 it emerged FATA administrators had been recording drone strikes and NATO incursions in the FATA in an internal database. It recorded a third possible drone strike of the day. The entry reads: ‘Three missiles were fired from across the border in T.T. Mada Khel area, NWA [North Waziristan Agency].’

Location: Mada Khel, North Waziristan

B46 – December 11 2008
♦ 6-7 total killed
♦ 0-7 civilians reported killed
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Named local cleric (The News).

At least six people were killed including, some reported, three ‘foreigners’ and possibly Punjabi militants. But according to villagers the attack on a house – which also damaged a next-door madrassa – only killed civilians.

At a funeral attended by hundreds, local religious scholar Maulana Sheikh Hakim Khan also insisted that those killed were civilians and called on Ban Ki-Moon of the United Nations to stop the CIA’s attacks. The News reported that Hakim:

Complained that these planes had deprived the innocent tribesmen of their mental peace and badly affected their routine life. [People were] disappointed with their own government, as despite their repeated appeals it had failed to stop the attacks on the civilian areas.’

Location: Azam Warzak, South Waziristan.
Geo TVReutersSATPThe News (cached)The NewsBureau

B47 – December 15 2008
♦ 2-3 total killed
♦ 0-3 civilians
♦ 3 injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed local villager (Deutsche Presse Agentur).

A night-time strike killed two unknown people and injured three. Local resident Ajab Khan reported that the attack had set a house on fire, telling AP:

He said he saw two bodies brought out and three wounded people taken away in a vehicle. Suspected Taliban militants surrounded the house, Khan said – a common occurrence after such strikes.

It was reported that the house was owned by Ghuncha Gul Wazir – though it is not clear if this is the militant leader of the same name. All agencies referred to those killed only as ‘people’ raising the possibility of civilian casualties.

Location: Tapi Tool (Tabi Tolkel), Miranshah, North Waziristan.
References:APGeoTVDeutsche Presse Agentur,Associated PressPakTribuneSouth Asia NewsMumbai MirrorPajhwokThe NewsBureau

B48 – December 22 2008
♦ 3 total killed
♦ 5 injured
At least three people were killed and five wounded in a strike on a truck rigged with an anti-aircraft gun. The attack, one of a pair, ’caused huge fires in both villages, sending panicked residents running into the streets,’ a security official told AFP. According to reports the trucks had been brought into Waziristan by ‘Punjabi Taliban’ to defend against drone strikes. See B49.For more on those killed in the drone strike see the Naming the Dead Project.

Location: Ghwa Khwa, Wana, South Waziristan.
 SATPLong War JournalFormae MentisDawnAFPBBCBureau

B49 – December 22 2008
♦ 2-4 total killed
♦ 4 injured
Between two and four people were killed and four injured in a further strike on an anti-aircraft truck in a second village. Dawn reported locals as saying that

Six Taliban speaking Urdu had come to Azam Warsak bazaar in a vehicle. Four of them disembarked and went to a grocery shop. At that time a big explosion took place and the vehicle was destroyed. The locals retrieved the two bodies from the vehicle and handed them over to their other colleagues. Resident said a fort-like house was also destroyed in the attack.

See also B48.

Location: Azam Warsak near Wana, South Waziristan.

B49c – December 22 2008
♦ No reported casualties
An internal database of strikes and casualties compiled by the local tribal administration was published by the Bureau in mid-2013. The database listed a third strike of the day. It said it hit in ‘a solitary area in village Doag Tehsil [local administrative area] Wana causing no damage.’

See also B48 and B49.

Location: Doag near Wana, South Waziristan.
January 2009

B50 – January 1 2009
♦ 3-5 total killed
♦ 1-2 injured, reportedly civilian(s)
Two missiles hit ‘a Peju Motorcar [sic]’ killing three non-locals and injuring one person according to data collected by the FATA secretariat. However The Nation reported up to five ‘suspected militants from Turkmenistan’ were killed. One or two nearby civilians were also reportedly wounded. Some reports incorrectly claimed that Usama al-Kini was killed in this attack (see B51).

Location: Kari Kot, Wana, South Waziristan.
 Long War JournalThe NationWashington PostNew York TimesDawnReutersSATPBureau

B51 – January 2 2009
♦ 3-4 total killed
♦ 3-5 injured
In the final strike of George W. Bush’s presidency, two missiles hit the abandoned ‘Government Girls Primary School, Sultana Tehsil Ladha’ (reportedly a TTP base). The strike killed al Qaeda operational chief Usama al-Kini and his lieutenant Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, both linked to the 1998 US African embassy bombings. Two other unknown people also died. Then-CIA Director General Michael Hayden personally ordered the attack, demanding that the drone’s operators use a bunker-busting bomb to ensure a kill.

The article was published at The Bush Years: Pakistan strikes 2004 – 2009

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