Taliban Strongholds Attacked By US Unmanned Aircraft

Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) July 12, 2009 -- Drones (unmanned aircraft), property of the United States government, are believed to have attacked and killed not less than 10 militants, in a strike on a Taliban camp, close by the Afghan border.

It is also alleged a second assault killed approximately forty more militants, when five missiles struck a vehicle convey in the same region. Officials from the local town of Sararogha said "All the vehicles destroyed and the dead were mostly Taliban militants, as well members of banned militant organizations from Pakistan's Punjab province".

It is estimated to have been the deadliest day of strikes on the Taliban, since the start of the drone campaign last August. It is believed 50 drone strikes have killed around 450 people, since August 2008.

The USA has been targeting a stronghold believed to be where one of Pakistan's top Taliban leaders, Baitulla Mehsud is stationed. The site was located in the densely forested and mountainous region of Karwan Manza.

The previous day another campsite had been targeted nearby. It is believed that Baitulla Mehsud supplies a sanctuary to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda members. There is a $5m reward on his head.

The Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for numerous suicide bombings and other attacks, which have killed scores of people. However, Pakistan's government officials condemn the USA's use of UAVs, saying they kill many innocent people.

In double attacks last month, drones are believed to have killed a further 60 people. The second hit killed mourners who were attending the funeral of those killed in the first strike.

The slight-winged military owned aircraft carry collision-avoidance technology, so that the unmanned aircraft can avoid hitting general aviation planes, plus commercial flights.

Drones, (UAVs) have filled the skies ever Afghanistan and Iraq for many years. They have been extensively used to seek out enemy encampments, defend military bases and launch missiles attacks against alleged terrorists.

It is now considered that UAVs will be filling the United States airways, as the UAVs are used for high altitude border and port security, domestic surveillance, aerial photography and pipeline monitoring. A county in North Carolina is using UAVs outfitted with low-light and infrared cameras to watch, from just a few hundred feet in the air, groups of motorcycle riders, or the detection of marijuana fields.

Michal Kostelnik, assistant commissioner at Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection Bureau "We need additional technology to supplement manned aircraft surveillance to ensure more efficient monitoring of United States territory".

Several UAVs are no bigger than model aircraft, weighing in at just a few ounces. Others are as large as a Boeing 737. Most of the UAVs have lengthy flight times and low airspeeds. Their use is only as limited as the imagination.

Question remains – who is staring down at you from the skies. Are new regulations needed to be formed to deal with this new air-traffic?

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Press Release Submitted On: July 12, 2009 at 7:27 pm
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