Pakistan Now Has Its Own Killer Drones

Army says strike hit 'high profile' militants
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 7, 2015 12:07 AM CDT
A Pakistan army paratrooper performs during the Pakistan National Day parade in Islamabad earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
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(Newser) – Pakistan used its first-ever armed drone today, killing three "high profile" militants near the Afghan border, according to the army. The missiles hit a compound in the Shawal valley of the Waziristan tribal region, a Pakistani army statement said. Pakistan first displayed the drone at a military parade earlier this year, saying it had already been successfully test fired in targeting both static and moving targets. But little is known of the drone's armament or capabilities.

Pakistan has sought to develop its own drone program for years, and displayed a drone meant solely for surveillance in 2012. The US frequently uses drones to target militants in Pakistan's tribal regions, and resumed strikes in June after a six-month hiatus, but Washington has refused to share the technology with Islamabad—a stance that former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf once referred to as "undeclared technological apartheid." (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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