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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

No change in US missile strike policy in Pakistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 24, IRNA - No change is seen in the President Obama's administration to stop missile strike in Pakistan as a suspected US missile strike killed at least six people and wounded several others in a North Wazristan tribal region on Friday.

Local tribesmen said strike in Zairaki village in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border is the first in Obama administration and third this month.

Pakistan expected change in the US missile strike policy when Obama took oath but the latest strike shows there will be no change in the policy.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on few occasions that the new US administration would stop missile strikes in Pakistan. However, Friday's strike has quashed such hopes.

The latest suspected US strike destroyed a house of a local tribesman Khalil, TV channels reported.

Locals in Miransha, the center of North Waziristan, said that three missiles were fired on the house when several guests were also staying there.

It was not immediately known whether any foreign militant or Taliban leader was present there.

US officials have never officially acknowledged or commented on such missile strikes.

It is believed that there is a secret understanding on such missile strikes but Pakistan has denied any such deal.

Pakistan says the strikes have in many cases targeted civilians. However, American officials insist the strikes have helped kill some important militant leaders who, they say, used Pakistani territory as safe havens from which to plot attacks on US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

NATO Secretary General said yesterday in Islamabad that his troops will never cross into Pakistani territory and would stop at the borders.

Officials said around 50 alleged US missile strikes were reported last year in Pakistan's northwest.

The first missile strike in the Obama administration has made it clear that the policy of the former Bush administration will continue despite Pakistan's repeated protests.

The parliament has in the past also passed unanimous resolutions against the strikes and Islamabad has summoned the US envoy for formal protest. But the US is not much impressed and Washington has always ignored Pakistan's protest.

EndNews / IRNA / News Code 316449

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