Three days of US drone attacks in north west Pakistan have left at least 27 dead.
On Sunday ten people were killed as they gathered to pray for victims of the previous day’s attack.
And on Monday 17 died in the hamlet of Hesokhe in North Waziristan after a drone attack launched four missiles.
The US claims this attack targeted and killed Al Qaida second in command Abu Yahya al-Libi. He had escaped from US custody in 2005.
The media repeat the US military line that the targeted villages are “militant hideouts”. But officials admit they have no evidence that the Al Qaida leader was one of the casualties.
US policy is to identify all adult men killed in such raids as “combatants” so that civilian casualty figures are kept artificially low.
Drone attacks have reached their height under Barak Obama’s presidency. He personally approves or vetoes drone raids in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
Another drone assault in November 2011 killed 24 Pakistan troops.
This led the Pakistan government to block US troop supply lines through its borders into Afghanistan in protest.
The US had cut back on drone attacks to persuade Pakistan to reinstate these supply lines. These latest killings shows there is no let up in the US assault on the region.