Two separate U.S. drone strikes killed at least seven militants in North Waziristan on Friday, Pakistani security officials said, the second such incident in a week.
The first strike targeted a Taliban compound in the Shawal area of the tribal district that borders Afghanistan and which has been used a hub by Al Qaeda and Taliban militants since the early 2000s. “A U.S. drone fired two missiles which hit a compound … killing four terrorists,” said a senior security official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Another security official claimed that the militants killed were all of Uzbek origin.
A second drone strike targeted a compound in the Kund area of North Waziristan, according to another official, killing at least three militants.
A drone strike on Dec. 20, also in North Waziristan, killed at least five militants, officials said. The area is generally off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to independently verify the number and identity of the dead.
The latest strikes came after Pakistan ramped up its anti-terror strategy in the wake of a Dec. 16 attack on an Army-run school in Peshawar, which killed 150 people, 134 of them children. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced the establishment of military courts for terror-related cases in order to accelerate trials, and the premier has also lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases.