MIRAMSHAH, Jan 15 At least 11 people were killed and three others injured in two drone attacks in Waziristan on Friday.

According to sources, five people were killed and three injured when a US drone fired four missiles on the house of one Munawar Jan in Zanani village of Mirali tehsil in North Waziristan at around 7.30pm.

In Mirkhani area along the border of the two regions of Waziristan, six people were killed in a late-night attack.

Meanwhile, the fate of Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban, remained a mystery amid unconfirmed reports that he had been killed or injured in a drone attack in South Waziristan on Thursday.

A Taliban spokesman has denied reports about Hakimullah's death.

But security officials insisted that Hakimullah had been killed. Some foreigners, they said, were among 16 people killed in the attack on a suspected hideout of militants in Shaktoi area near the Afghan border.

Some Taliban sources in the area also said that Hakimullah might have been killed.

Meanwhile, an audiotape purportedly of Hakimullah warned the government of dire consequences if drone attacks continued. The tape sent to a number of reporters in the region did not carry any reference to the Thursday's drone attack.

Hakimullah said the media had become a part of the propaganda war.

“The media sometimes propagates about my martyrdom and sometimes claims that the operation in South Waziristan has been completed,” he said.

He said the aim of spreading disinformation about his death was to demoralise the Taliban.

Official sources said the message might have been recorded before Thursday.

The TTP chief warned that drone attacks had become a threat for the country's security and sovereignty and must be halted.

“From now onwards the government will be responsible for any severe step to be taken by the Taliban,” he said.

AFP adds The military's spokesman said access to the Taliban-controlled area was one hurdle in obtaining information.

“So far we do not have confirmation of him either getting killed or getting injured. It will take a little more time to confirm this or otherwise,” Maj-Gen Athar Abbas said.

“Intelligence agencies are at their work. They are trying to probe and find out from their sources.”

TTP spokesman Azam Tariq said his commander had left the Shaktoi area “40 to 60 minutes” before the missile strike.

“Hakimullah is alive and safe. I met him last night and there was not even a scratch on him,” he told AFP.

More than 700 people have been killed in at least 77 US drone strikes since August 2008, with a surge in 2009 under President Barack Obama. Seven drone strikes have hit the tribal region this month.

Opinion

Editorial

Breaking the deadlock
09 Dec, 2022

Breaking the deadlock

It is time for PDM and PTI to show flexibility and realise that the future of over 240m people is at stake.
A targeted killing
09 Dec, 2022

A targeted killing

IF there were any doubts about a sinister, transnational plot to kill journalist Arshad Sharif, the 592-page report...
Dog-bite epidemic
09 Dec, 2022

Dog-bite epidemic

AN exploding population of stray canines has fuelled a dog-bite epidemic in Sindh, with the provincial health...
Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...