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A US Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile stands on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport
Image: AP

US, Pakistan tension drones on

May 24, 2012

An easing of tensions between the United States and Pakistan does not appear to be in sight, with suspected US drones killing 14 people in two days.


Ten alleged militants were killed in a drone attack Thursday in Pakistan near the country's border with Afghanistan. According to Pakistani security officials, the unmanned aircraft fired two missiles in the village of Khassokhel in the North Waziristan tribal area.

It is believed the attacks came from US drones and comes a day after a similar attack killed four suspected militants in the same region.

The United States has shown no sign of heeding complaints from Pakistan to stop its practice of using unmanned aircraft to attack militants in the country. Parliament demanded an end to the attacks in March, and Thursday marks the fourth attack since that demand was made.

Pakistansays the attacks violate its sovereignty and put civilians at risk. The US believes the drone missions to be effective in pursuing Taliban and al Qaeda militants and is encouraging Pakistan to launch a large-scale attack against militants in the area.

Relations between the two countries showed no sign of thawing earlier this week at a NATO summit in Chicago. A drone strike in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers incensed Islamabad, prompting them to close off NATO supply routes through the Pakistan. So far the two sides have not come to an agreement to reopen the supply routes.

Pakistanfurther frustrated the US on Wednesday when a doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden's hideout was sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason.

mz/slk (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

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