Last Christmas, the U.S. stopped all drone airstrikes in Pakistan at the request of Pakistan's government, which was then pursuing peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban. After this week's attacks on Karachi's bustling international airport, apparently all bets are off: On Wednesday night and early Thursday, U.S. drones fired missiles at two groups of suspected Islamist insurgents in the North Waziristan area, reportedly killing 16 of them.
The first of the two strikes hit an explosives-laden truck carrying six militants — four Uzbeks from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which claimed joint responsibility for Sunday's deadly airport attack, and two Taliban members from Pakistan's Punjab state, local intelligence officials tell AFP. The second strike hit the same location, after suspected militants arrived to dig through the rubble from the first blast, looking for bodies and survivors.
The resumed drone strikes follow airstrikes on Tuesday by Pakistan's air force, which killed at least 15 suspected militants in northwest Khyber region.