Tags: missile | strike | Taliban | US

U.S. Missile Hit Kills 10 at Pakistan Taliban Camp

Thursday, 14 Jan 2010 10:47 AM

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Missiles fired by US drone aircraft hit a militant training camp in northwest Pakistan Thursday, killing at least 10 people, officials said, as Washington and Islamabad clash over the strikes.

It was the seventh bombing raid by unmanned US planes this month as Pakistan sees a surge in the strikes, which fuel anti-American sentiment in the nuclear-armed Muslim nation and draw public condemnation from the government.

US officials say the attacks are necessary to protect NATO troops fighting over the border in Afghanistan, and are urging Pakistan to do more to dismantle militant safe havens carved out along the lawless frontier.

Thursday's assault took place in Pasalkot village in a remote area of North Waziristan and very close to the border with South Waziristan, where Pakistan's military are battling Taliban fighters, officials said.

"It was a US drone strike which took place between 7.00 am (0200 GMT) and 8.00 am. At least 10 people, mostly militants, have been killed in the missile strike. The toll is likely to rise," said a local intelligence official.

"The targeted site was a militant training camp," he told AFP. It was not immediately clear if any senior insurgents had been killed.

A senior security official confirmed the death toll, and said four missiles were fired from unmanned planes in the remote area.

All seven strikes this year have hit North Waziristan, a bastion of Al-Qaeda fighters, the Taliban and the Haqqani network which launches attacks on the 113,000 US and NATO troops fighting the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The administration of US President Barack Obama has put Pakistan at the heart of its fight against Al-Qaeda and Islamist extremists and says the war in Afghanistan cannot be won without Islamabad's help, but tensions simmer.

A US senator on Wednesday scolded Pakistan's leaders for privately supporting US drone strikes while publicly denouncing them.

"What troubles me is the public attack on these drone attacks when at the same time they've privately obviously not told us that we must stop," said Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee.

Pakistan's leaders "not only understand and acquiesce, but in many cases privately support the drone attacks," Levin said, adding that "the minimum we should expect is a silence on their part rather than a public attack on us."

Such criticism "creates real problems for us in terms of the Pakistani public and helps create some real animosity towards us -- a sense of revenge, the implication that we're violating Pakistan's sovereignty," he said.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the strikes sour relations with Washington, while President Asif Ali Zardari has warned they undermine public support for their own military operations.

Pakistan's armed forces have in the past year launched multiple offensives to quash northwest sanctuaries of the Taliban, blamed for most of the attacks in Pakistan which have killed more than 2,900 people since July 2007.

But Washington is increasing pressure on Islamabad to tackle militants who use its soil to launch attacks in Afghanistan and American officials have said that the highly secretive drone programme has eliminated some top fighters.

More than 700 people have died in about 77 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008, but US officials do not confirm individual attacks.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Missiles fired by US drone aircraft hit a militant training camp in northwest Pakistan Thursday, killing at least 10 people, officials said, as Washington and Islamabad clash over the strikes.
missile,strike,Taliban,US
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2010-47-14
Thursday, 14 Jan 2010 10:47 AM
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