Islamabad: A suspected U.S. drone strike killed two men on Thursday in a Pakistani village near the Afghanistan border, a local government official and a village elder said. U.S. drone attacks inside Pakistan have become rare over the past few years and the latest strike, if confirmed, would be the first such attack inside the nuclear-armed nation since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January.
The missile struck two men riding a motorcycle in Pakistan’s northern Kurram Agency, part of the country’s lawless tribal areas said to be home to militants from both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban as well as al Qaeda. It was not clear who was being targeted, the official said.
“A drone missile struck the motorcycle which caught fire and then exploded,” said village elder Haji Zamin Hussain.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman could not be reached for comment. In its last high-profile drone attack inside Pakistan, the United States in May killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan.
Drone strikes by Unites States in Pakistan began during the presidential tenure of George Bush in 2004. Since then, the US has been involved in thousands of such attacks in Pakistan. A large number of innocent people have lost their lives in these attacks and the Pakistani prime minister has consistently urged the US to stop them.