US drone strike kills six in Pakistan

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 15:28

Islamabad: A US drone attack killed at least six suspected militants in Pakistan`s lawless North Waziristan tribal region today, the first such strike since the country`s general elections and the announcement of a new policy for the use of the CIA-operated spy planes by President Barack Obama.

The spy plane targeted a house in Chashma Pul area of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, early this morning.

Six persons in the house were killed instantly and two others injured, TV news channels quoted officials as saying.

Local residents said several drones were seen hovering over the area after the attack. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital, where officials described their condition as critical. The identity of the dead and injured could not immediately be ascertained.

This was the first drone strike in Pakistan since the May 11 polls and the announcement of a new policy for the use of the spy planes by President Barack Obama last week.

According to the new policy, drone strikes can only be used to prevent imminent attacks, when the capture of a suspect is not feasible and if there is a "near certainty" that civilians will not be killed.

Pakistan`s general election was won by the PML-N and Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif, who is set to assume office in June, has said Washington must take Islamabad`s concerns about drone strikes seriously.
US and Afghan officials describe North Waziristan as a safe haven for Taliban and al Qaeda elements and many top militant commanders have been killed by US drones in the region.
Pakistan`s Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said on Friday the drone strikes were illegal and counter-productive despite the new guidelines unveiled by Obama.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 10:27

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