US drone strikes kill 16 suspected militants in South Waziristan

     At least 16 people were reportedly killed in US drone strikes in Angora Adda locality in South Waziristan on Saturday. Unmanned US Predator aircraft fired five missiles at a compound, supposedly a hideout of the defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban outfit, situated seven kilometres from Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, The News reports. Rescue workers said that 16 bodies have been shifted to hospital for autopsy, while the death toll may rise as some, among injured persons, are reportedly in a critical condition. Over 950 people have been killed in nearly 200 missile attacks in the troubled northwest tribal areas of Pakistan since 2008. Earlier, a report by a top UN official had criticised the Obama administration for continuing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated drone attacks in the semi-autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan, as it has resulted in countless civilian deaths. UN's special rapporteur on extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions Phillip Alston, in his report, argued that drone strikes amount to a "license to kill" without being held accountable, a license the U.S. would not want any other country to have. While the Obama administration is yet to publicly accept responsibility for the drone hits, the CIA maintains that the attacks carried out by the unmanned aircraft are in fact overseen by the White House and Congress, and refuted reports that the agency lacked accountability.

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