US drone kills 7, first since Pak PM Sharif sworn in
A US drone strike on Friday killed seven militants in northwest Pakistan, the first since Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as prime minister this week calling for an end to such attacks, local officials said.Updated: Jun 08, 2013, 10:31 IST
A US drone strike on Friday killed seven militants in northwest Pakistan, the first since Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as prime minister this week calling for an end to such attacks, local officials said.
The missiles hit a compound in Shokhel village, more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district which is known as a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants.
"The US drone fired two missiles targeting a militant compound and killing at least seven militants", a senior local security official said.
Another official confirmed the strike and casualties but said the identities of those killed were not yet known.
The strike came just two days after Sharif was sworn in for a historic third time and asked the United States to end its campaign of drone attacks against militants.
"We respect the sovereignty of others and they should also respect our sovereignty and independence. This campaign should come to an end," he said after lawmakers endorsed him as premier on Wednesday.
He had also publicly criticised the drone strike that killed Taliban deputy Waliur Rehman last week, echoing long-held Pakistani complaints that the US campaign violates national sovereignty.
Missile strikes by unmanned US aircraft have been very unpopular in Pakistan, but Washington views them as a vital tool in the fight against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants holed up in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas.
Ties with Washington will be a key part of Sharif's tenure, particularly as NATO withdraws the bulk of its forces from neighbouring Afghanistan by the end of next year after more than 12 years of war.