18 killed in Waziristan drone attack
ISLAMABAD (PAN): At least 18 people were killed when a US drone slammed missiles into suspected militant hideouts in the troubled Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan on Friday, just a day after Islamabad strongly protested the strikes.
The strikes close to the Afghan border on Friday were the fourth in the span of a week, as well as the most deadly.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry summoned a US diplomat to protest the recent drone strikes. The ministry said in a statement that a senior US diplomat was called and informed that the drone strikes were unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. It was emphatically stated that such attacks were unacceptable. The diplomat was not identified.
But one day later, American drone-fired missiles hit three militant hideouts in the tribal area, with each compound receiving two missiles. Fourteen people were also injured in the attack.
At his weakly press briefing in Islamabad, Foreign ministry spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan criticised Friday’s strikes. “We regard these strikes as illegal and unproductive,” he said.
“These attacks also violate our sovereignty, territorial integrity and are in contravention of international laws.” Khan said Pakistan was working with the US leadership on the drone issue.
“We are working on various proposals and hope to come up to a mutually acceptable solution,” he said. But he refused to discuss the nature of proposals, saying it was difficult for him to share these with the media.
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