Deadly U.S. "buzzers" fray nerves in Pakistan
The Predators, capable of carrying two anti-tank Hellfire missiles, can remain aloft for up 24 hours -- providing the Central Intelligence Agency with a wealth of intelligence beamed live from its hi-tech cameras.
They have struck several times in northwest Pakistan this year, killing dozens of suspected militants.
Sometimes villagers can spot the drones -- a tiny speck in the sky -- and even fire at them with rifles. At other times the drones are too high to see, but you know they're there from the distinctive and incessant buzz given off by their rear-mounted propeller engines
Malik Khardin, a tribal elder in Wana, said he had stopped letting too many cars park outside his house or allowing guests to stay because that might be spotted by the drones.
"We fear we might be hit on suspicion of being al Qaeda," he said.
WANA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pilotless U.S. drones armed with missiles have stepped up patrols over Pashtun villages on the Afghan-Pakistan border, hunting for Taliban and al Qaeda militants and fraying nerves below.
Pashtun villagers living on the frontier call them "buzzers," and the aircraft have increasingly taken to the skies, causing sleepless nights and occasionally raining down death.
"We're sick of these drones, they're driving us crazy," said Sher Shah, a government official in the town of Wana in the South Waziristan region, a hot bed of militancy in northwest Pakistan.
"They fly so low at night we can't sleep!"
‘YOU MAY BE A TALIBAN IF...’
1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.
2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes or a toothbrush.
3. You have more wives than teeth.
4. You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon ‘unclean.’
5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You can’t think of anyone you HAVEN’T declared Jihad against.
7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your pocket.
8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
9. You’ve often uttered the phrase, ‘I love what you’ve done with your cave.’
10. You have nothing against women and think every man should own five or six.
11. You bathe monthly, whether you need it or not.
12. You’ve had a crush on your neighbor’s goat.