PESHAWAR - At least five foreigners associated with East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) were among the 18 people killed in US drone attacks in North and South Waziristan Agencies last Friday.
Tribal sources told Pakistan Today that on August 24, three compounds of suspected militants at Tunda Darra near Dray Nishtar area of Shawal mountainous regions were targeted by US drones. According to officials, 18 people were killed and 14 others injured in the missiles strikes, considered most severe in the latest round of offense starting August 18.
Officials in the civil administration and spy agencies said five leading commanders of ETIM were among those killed. They ETM commanders were identified as Emimithi Yakov, known as Abdul Jabbar in Waziristan, Yako A Mathew alias Saleh, Toyosan To Methew alias Zabih Ullah, while the fourth was known as Mukhtar.
The name of fifth ETIM commander could not be ascertained. The ETIM is a group of militants known as Ovegoor. The Ovegoor originate from Central Asian Republics and China. Ovegoor militants are part of ETIM, Ittehad Islami Jihad, Hizbe Islami Turikistan and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. A large number of these militants are staying in scattered areas of Waziristan since 2004. Reports revealed that most of the victims of US drone attacks were Central Asians and a majority of them were of Ovegoor origin.
Some of these militants were also accompanied by female relatives and were residing among the local population across North Waziristan. Meanwhile, two active commanders of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan headed by Hakeemullah Mehsud were also killed in the August 24 US drone attack. Their exact identity could not be ascertained so far. Haqqani network spokesman Ahmad Jan has already denied the killing of Badaruddin Haqqani, however, the spokesman confirmed the killing of Osama, a 13-year-old member of Haqqani family, in drone attacks.