Missiles from U.S. drones slammed into militant hideouts overnight in northwestern Pakistan, killing 13 suspected insurgents and marking the resumption of the CIA-led program after a nearly six-month break, officials said Thursday.
The strikes came just days after a five-hour siege of Pakistan’s busiest airport ended with 36 people, including ten militants, killed. The audacious attack raised concerns about whether Pakistan was capable of dealing with the Pakistani Taliban, which said it carried out the assault along with an Uzbek militant group.
It was not immediately clear if the drone strikes were connected to the airport attack. Pakistan routinely condemns drone strikes even when they target armed groups at war with the government.
The Pakistani government had asked the U.S. to refrain from drone strikes while it was trying to negotiate a peace deal with the militants, but even before the airport siege those talks had largely collapsed.