US drone kills 10 in Pakistan
A US drone attack targeting a militant compound killed at least 10 insurgents in a troubled Pakistani tribal district along the Afghan border early yesterday, security officials said.
The Pakistani officials said two missiles hit and destroyed the compound in Shawal area, some 70 kilometres west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.
According to US, Waziristan is the most notorious militant stronghold in Pakistan's semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt.
Yesterday's attack was the second strike since Pakistan's parliament in March approved new guidelines on relations with the United States, which included a call for an end to drone attacks on Pakistani territory.
Two security officials in Miranshah confirmed the strike and death toll and added that militants were using the compound as a training centre. They said the mud compound was completely destroyed.
The identity of those killed in the strike was yet not known and officials said they were trying to collect more information from the far-flung mountainous area.
Pakistan's foreign ministry condemned the latest strike, reiterating that such "illegal attacks are a violation of (our) sovereignty and territorial integrity, and are in contravention of international law".
"It is our considered view that the strategic disadvantages of such attacks far outweigh their tactical advantages, and are therefore, totally counter productive," it added.
Pakistan raised the issue of drone attacks with Marc Grossman, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, when he visited Islamabad last month amid efforts to mend fractured relations.
According to an AFP tally, 45 US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan's tribal belt in 2009, the year Obama took office, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011.
The New America Foundation think-tank in Washington says drone strikes have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in Pakistan in the past eight years.