In an apparent snub to a call from Pakistan’s new administration for an end to US drone strikes in tribal regions, an American remotely-piloted aircraft struck in the North Waiziristan tribal region on Friday.
Seven suspected militants were killed and three injured in the drone attack targeting a compound in Mangroti village, in the Shawal tehsil of North Waziristan, according to government officials.
The village is sited 50 kilometres west of Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency, close to the Pak-Afghan border.
“The drone fired two missiles at a suspected militant compound,” a local administration official told The Express Tribune. “At least seven people were killed,” he added.
The attack came two days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the United States must call off the drone campaign.
“We respect the sovereignty of others and they should respect our sovereignty and independence. This campaign must come to an end now,” he told the National Assembly in a policy speech after his election as leader of the house.
Islamabad has repeatedly called for an end to the highly controversial US drone campaign in the tribal regions which, it says, is damaging its counter-insurgency efforts. Washington, however, considers its unmanned war effective in taking out high-value targets.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2013.
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