ISLAMABAD – At least eight students at a madrassa, or Islamic religious school, located in the northwestern Pakistani district of Hangu, died in an attack staged early Thursday by a U.S. drone, officials told Efe.
The attack took place about 5 a.m. in the area of Tal and the drone fired at least three missiles that hit the Islamic school, an official with the office for coordination of the country’s tribal areas said.
Eight people died in the strike and all were reported to be students at the school, a Hangu police spokesman told Efe.
The school is named Muktaba Darul Uloom, the local daily Express Tribune said.
The attack comes the day after the Pakistani government confirmed that Washington had made a commitment to halt the drone attacks if peace talks between the authorities and the Taliban resume.
Tension between Pakistan and the United States over the use of drones has risen over the past three weeks after the death of Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a U.S. attack just when dialogue between Islamabad and the insurgents’ leadership was about to resume.
The controversial attacks with uncrewed aircraft are sparking more criticism inside Pakistan and from international human rights organizations – and even from the United Nations – due to associated civilian deaths.
So far this year, there have been about 20 such attacks, which have killed almost 150 people, a figure somewhat lower than in recent years in Pakistan.