Pakistan Deploys First Homemade Drone, Kills 3 Militants

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The Pakistani military said on Monday in Islamabad that a missile-firing Pakistani drone had killed at least three suspected militants. Maj.-Gen. Asim Bajwa, Military Chief spokesman, said this was the first ever reported use of the indigenously developed aircraft in combat. He said the “Burraq” drone attacked a suspected militant hideout in the Shawal Valley, which had long been a militant stronghold on the border with Afghanistan. Bajwa said the drone that hit a terrorist compound in Shawal valley killed three high profile terrorists. One of who is Nizam Wazir, a leader allied with Pakistani Taliban. Government forces launched an offensive against Pakistani Taliban militants, in semi-autonomous ethnic Pashtun regions along the Afghan border last year. The chief spokesman noted that the military expanded the offensive into the Shawal Valley last month with the use of both ground troops and aircraft. The government has for years denounced US drone strikes in Pakistan as a violation of sovereignty. The independent London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which monitors strikes, noted that US drones have killed more than 2,400 people in Pakistan since 2004. Pakistan first successfully tested the Burraq drone in March with the military hailing it as “a force multiplier in the anti-terror campaign”. The military deployed two Pakistani-produced unarmed surveillance drones in 2013. Analysts say Pakistan’s drones look very much like drones from Pakistan’s close ally, China.
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