S.H. Khan
AFP
January 10, 2010

ISLAMABAD — The US drone war in Pakistan has made gains in annihilating Taliban and Al-Qaeda commanders, but the reliance on the unmanned, remotely controlled aircraft risks fanning Islamist violence.

[efoods]While tens of thousands of US troops are fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, their presence is unwelcome in ally Pakistan and drone strikes have become the main combat tactic against militants on the ground.

The Long War Journal, a website tracking the strikes, says US missiles have killed 15 senior Al-Qaeda leaders, and 16 “mid-level” Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives, since January 2008.

Among the scalps was Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), the Pakistani Taliban.

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