After a brief respite following tensions with the Pakistani government over a cross-border raid last year, US drones are flying with renewed regularity above Pakistan and firing missiles on those below.
The Associated Press reports today:
A U.S. drone fired two missiles at a house in Pakistan's northwest tribal region, killing three suspected militants in the second such attack in as many days, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
The back-to-back strikes could be an indication the drone program is picking up steam again after a slowdown caused by tensions with Pakistan over accidental American air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.
The U.S. held off on carrying out drone strikes for over six weeks after the deadly accident on Nov. 26. There have been a handful of attacks since they resumed in January, but the last two are the first consecutive strikes since the border incident.
And Agence France-Presse adds:
[Last month] Obama said the drone programme was a "targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists". The founder of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, was one of the most high profile casualties, killed in 2009.
But The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, based in London, says there are credible reports that between 282 and 535 civilians, including more than 60 children, have been killed in drone attacks since Obama took office.