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Pakistan condemns U.S. drone attack

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

ISLAMABAD, May 5, IRNA -- Pakistan has condemned in the strongest terms the U.S. drone attacks in North Waziristan Saturday morning, which killed at least 10 people, the Foreign Ministry said.

“Pakistan has consistently maintained that these illegal attacks are a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and are in contravention of international law,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

Security officials said the U.S. spy aircraft fired two missiles on a house at the Darai Nashtar area in North Waziristan early morning. The area is just three kilometers from Afghanistan.

The house was completely destroyed in the strike.

Locals said that four U.S. drones were seen flying over the area before and after the attack, which was the third strike in the same region in nearly two months.

Rescue work was delayed due to fear of further strikes by the U.S. drones, residents said.

Security sources said that suspected militants had been using the house for several months. They said those killed belonged to the local Taliban group. They also said that several foreign militants were also staying in the compound at the time of the strike.

“It is our considered view that the strategic disadvantages of such attacks far outweigh their tactical advantages, and are therefore, totally counterproductive,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said.

Saturday's U.S. drone strike was 12th this year. Data shows that nearly 93 people have been killed in U.S strikes in 2012.

Pakistan had summoned a U.S. diplomat for lodging a formal protest when a strike killed four people on April 30.

The Foreign Ministry says that the issue of American drone strikes will be taken up with the U.S. authorities through diplomatic channels both in Islamabad and Washington.

Pakistani parliament last month approved guidelines for relationship with the U.S., calling for immediate halt to American strikes.

The U.S. has so far rejected calls from Pakistan to stop drone strikes and the latest strikes show that Washington is in no mood to change policy on these strikes.

Americans insist that the CIA-run strikes are effective in eliminating al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. Pakistanis say that drone strikes are counter productive, kill civilians, increase anti-US sentiments and create problems for the government.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80114819

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