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US drone strike kills 10, officials say

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-14

The strike, in a tribal region known to be a stronghold of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, comes despite warnings from Pakistan that such attacks are in violation of international law and could deepen resentment of the United States.

 
A suspected US missile strike killed at least 10 Islamist militants in a Pakistani tribal region known as a hub of Al-Qaeda and Taliban rebels, security officials said Friday.
   
The strike comes amid repeated warnings from Pakistan that the attacks are in violation of international law and could deepen resentment of the United States in the world's second-largest Islamic nation.
   
But Washington has stepped up the strikes since March, when a civilian government took over from General Pervez Musharraf, who turned Pakistan into a close US ally in the "war on terror."
   
In the latest attack, officials said, two missiles apparently fired from a drone aircraft demolished a house in North Waziristan, part of Pakistan's lawless tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan.
   
"Nine foreigners were among ten killed," a top security official told AFP. Pakistan officials normally use the term "foreigners" to describe Al-Qaeda militants.
   
Up to 14 militants were killed last Friday in a US missile strike which destroyed an Al-Qaeda training camp in Kumsham village in North Waziristan.
   
A series of recent strikes against suspected Al-Qaeda and Taliban hideouts in Pakistan's tribal areas, all blamed on unmanned CIA drones, have raised tensions between Washington and Islamabad.
   
President Asif Ali Zardari warned the new US commander for Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, last week that the attacks were "counterproductive" and could harm the battle for hearts and minds here.
   
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the country's military leadership also told the general that the United States should respect Pakistani sovereignty and territorial integrity.
   
Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Kayani is scheduled to undertake a three-day visit to Brussels from Tuesday for talks with senior NATO officials about US missile strikes on Pakistani soil near the Afghan border.
   
US and NATO officials say that the rugged tribal regions have become safe havens for militants linked to Taliban and Al-Qaeda who fled the US action against the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan in late 2001.
   
Pakistan rejects accusations that it is not doing enough to tackle the extremist threat within its own borders.
  

Date created : 2008-11-14

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