In memory of and sympathy for

 

At least 32 civilians killed and

“scores of others who sustained injuries”

at 10 A.M. on Tuesday, June 19, 2007

in the small, remote village of Mami Noma Manzarkhel in the Dattakhel area of North Waziristan. A U.S. Predator drone flying in from Afghanistan fired two Hellfire missiles which struck a madrassa seminary and two adjacent homes. Tribesmen from the village descended to Miran Shah seeking coffins. According to these villagers, the remote hamlet’s Binori Madrassa was targeted when some 50 students and their teachers were present, killing everyone inside. The Pakistani military had to deny that a U.S. drone had fired and concocted a story that the casualties occurred when bombs being made by militants accidentally exploded.  Some years ago, a similar “story” was concocted but revealed to be a lie. The following by independent reporters Rahimullah Yusufzai & Mohammad Yasin explain:

 One notable case of similar nature was the attack on a house a couple of years ago in which alleged al-Qaeda figure Hamza Rabia was killed along with some local tribesmen in a village near Mir Ali, also in North Waziristan. The government insisted on that occasion also that Hamza Rabia and the tribesmen were killed while making bombs but a tribal journalist, Hayatullah, proved it wrong by taking pictures of shrapnels of missiles fired by a US drone while attacking the al-Qaeda hideout. Hayatullah was soon afterwards abducted and his bullet-ridden body was found five months later.

 The same authors continue,

 Across the border from the targeted Pakistani village is Afghanistan’s Paktika province, where US-led coalition jets bombed a compound containing a mosque and Madrassa on Monday and killed several people, including seven children aged 10 to 16. Most of those killed in the Madrassa in North Waziristan Tuesday were also stated to be young religious students. The remoteness of the Mami Noma Manzarkhel village, which was written as Mami Rogha in dispatches by wire services, made it difficult to get details of the attack. The few telephones in the area, located around 75 kilometres west of Miranshah, were not working. The targeted village, sited 16 kilometres from Dattakhel town in the Sher Ali Ghundai area, is close to the border with Afghanistan. The mud-built Binori Madrassa was located at some distance from the village. It was intriguing to note that US helicopters had reportedly dropped leaflets in the border areas of both North Waziristan and South Waziristan last Saturday warning the tribes living there not to launch attacks in Afghanistan. The leaflets in Pashto language threatened them with attacks involving chemical weapons if attacks across the Pak-Afghan border were not stopped and military training camps in Waziristan were not closed. A further provocation were pictures of B-52 bombers printed on the leaflets as if threatening the Pakistani tribes that they would be bombed by these feared US fighter planes.    

 A nearly identical attack took place during the night of January 12/13, 2006 upon the village of Damadola in the Bajaur Agency in which Predator missiles killed some 32 civilians.

 Killed in a “precision” strike by Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. Predator drone