Five suspected militants killed in US drone attack near Pak-Afghan border 


PESHAWAR:  At least five suspected militants were killed in a drone strike on the Afghanistan side of the Pak-Afghan border.

According to sources, the drone fired two missiles at a house in the Laman area of Afghanistan. Those killed in the drone strike were affiliated with the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, including a commander Asadullah alias Shingri.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump revoked a policy that required the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to account for civilian deaths from drone strikes.

The move reversed a two-year-old order by his predecessor Barack Obama, who came under pressure for greater transparency after sharply increasing the use of drones for targeted attacks in military and counter-terrorism operations.

It could give the CIA greater latitude to conduct strikes as Trump increasingly relies on the spy agency, rather than the military, for lethal drone operations.

Rights groups immediately criticised the move, saying it reverses a hard-fought effort for transparency and accountability in drone strikes, which became central to US strategy in the wake of the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attack on the United States.

Trump’s action rescinded the July 1, 2016 order by Obama requiring the US director of national intelligence to report annually the number of strikes taken against “terrorist targets” outside of active war zones, and give an assessment of combatant and civilian deaths that resulted.

Trump’s move though applied only to strikes by non-defense department agencies — the CIA, in effect.

It did not overturn requirements set by Congress for the Pentagon to account for civilian casualties in its operations.