DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – A U.S. drone strike killed eight people in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, three intelligence sources said, the latest in a series of drone attacks that come as a retired U.S. general warns their overuse may threaten American foreign policy goals.
A foreign tactical trainer for al-Qaida was reportedly among those killed in the latest strike, although reports differed on his nationality. Some intelligence officials said he was from Somalia but others said he was from the United Arab Emirates.
Three others were also injured in the attack on Haiderkhel village, about 30 kms (19 miles) east of the provincial capital of Miranshah in North Waziristan, a region along the Afghan border that is a key stronghold of the Taliban.
al-Qaida’s top strategist Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed nearby in a drone attack last year.
On Monday, retired U.S. General Stanley McChrystal said that drones had helped U.S. troops but were hated around the world and that their overuse could jeopardize American security.
Opinion in Pakistan is divided over drone strikes. Many criticize them as an infringement of the country’s sovereignty and because they have killed civilians. Others say the strikes reach militants who are terrorizing the local population in areas the Pakistani army cannot go.
There has been an increase in drone strikes in recent weeks.
Last week Mullah Nazir, a strong supporter of attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, was killed in a drone strike along with his deputy and top commanders. On Sunday a drone strike killed between 10 and 12 militants, local residents said.