18 Nov 2011

Britons among drone strike Taliban victims

Senior Pakistani security officials and Taliban sources say four of the seven militants killed in a drone attack on Thursday in north Waziristan’s Shawal valley were British nationals.

Taliban confirm that British nationals were among militants killed in a drone strike in Pakistan (Reuters)

The victims included Ibrahim Adam and Mohammed Azmir Khan. Adam’s brother, Anthony Garcia, is serving a life sentence for his involvement in a fertiliser bomb plot to blog up a nightclub. Khan’s brother was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan last September.

The drones fired six missiles and struck a house reportedly being used by the militants in the mountainous forest-covered Shawal valley of north Waziristan, near the Afghan border.

Taliban confirms deaths

The four arrived in Pakistan two years ago and had initially associated with al-Qaeda. Later they developed close contacts with the Afghan insurgent group and started fighting against US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan along with Afghan Taliban.

They spent some time in Dattakhel and later came to Miramshah, the headquarters of the north Waziristan tribal region.

Only their body pieces were retrieved from the spot. Taliban commander

Shawal valley is about 75 kilometres south of Miramshah, the administrative town of north Waziristan, and located on border with south Waziristan.

Security officials said seven militants were killed and five others injured in the attack. They said four among those killed were British nationals.

However, when the CIA-operated spy planes stepped up missile strikes on militant positions in Dattakhel and Miramshah, the foreign militants were advised to go to Shawal valley to remain safe from drone attack.

Taliban sources also confirmed the killing of British nationals but they did not provide details about their number.

An Afghan Taliban commander said the bodies of all the seven people, including the guests, had been burnt beyond recognition.

“There was no body in a stable condition and only their body pieces were retrieved from the spot and were laid to rest at a local graveyard,” a north Wziristan Taliban commander said.

The Foreign Office told Channel 4 News it was aware of these reports and was looking into them.