Pakistan protests U.S. drone strikes in tribal regions
IRNA – Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, Oct 12, IRNA — Pakistan lodged protest with the American embassy in Islamabad over the recent two U.S. drone strikes in the country’s tribal regions, which killed and injured scores of people.
An American spy aircraft Thursday killed 16 people in Pakistan’s Orakzai tribal region when it fired missiles on a compound, official sources and local media said.
On Wednesday, a U.S. spy aircraft killed at least five people in North Waziristan tribal region.
“A protest has been lodged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the US Embassy in Islamabad on drone strikes inside Pakistani territory on 10 and 11 October 2012,” the Foreign Ministry said.
A Foreign Ministry statement said the U.S. Embassy was informed that drone strikes on Pakistani territory were a clear violation of International Law and Pakistan’s sovereignty.
“These attacks were unacceptable to Pakistan,” the statement said.
Local media reported that four missiles were fired in the Buland Khel area of the Orakzai agency, which is close to the borders of the North and South Waziristan tribal regions.
Quoting official sources as saying that the attack was aimed at the compound of Maulana Shakirullah, who is the commander of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The militant wing run by Shakirullah has been linked with the Haqqani network and Al-Qaeda, sources added. The Hafiz Gul Bahadur group has been repeatedly accused by the US for being involved in cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.
This was the second drone attack in Orakzai agency. The first came in 2009 in the Khadezai area of Mamozai in Upper Orakzai agency, in which 11 militants affiliated to TTP’s Hakimullah group were killed.
The strikes destroyed the compound and left seven suspected militants dead at the scene and injured several other. Sources said that nine died later of wounds.
Residents said they had seen several US drones flying over the site of the attack and locals were reportedly staying away from the site.
Local media reported that some foreigners were among the casualties.
Earlier in the day, eight people were killed and 20 were injured when a roadside-planted improvised explosive device exploded on Mushti Mela road in Orakzai agency’s Hasanzai Bazar area.
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80366948