In an unusual move, a senior Pakistani Army official has given details of the US drone missile attacks aimed at terrorists in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Major General Ghayur Mehmood, commanding officer of the 7th Division, told Dawn newspaper that the drone attacks were very accurate and were mostly killing "hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners."
In figures that appear to differ sharply from those produced by other sources, Maj-Gen Mehmood said that between 2007 and 2011 there had been about 164 Predator strikes that had killed over 964 terrorists. Of those, 793 were locals and 171 were foreigners, including Arabs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens, Filipinos and Moroccans. He added that up until March this year 39 militants, including five foreigners, had been killed in drone strikes. He gave no figures at all for civilian deaths.
His comments come after a hiatus in the attacks between 22 January and the end of February, linked by some analysts to the arrest of CIA operative Raymond Davis.