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Angry Pakistan Summons Envoy After U.S. Drone Strike Kills Nine

posted 8 Jun 2013, 10:10 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 8 Jun 2013, 10:11 ]

The newly-elected Pakistani government summons the U.S. Charge d' Affairs to lodge a protest against a drone strike that killed nine people.

 ISLAMABADPAKISTAN (JUNE 08, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Pakistan summoned America's envoy on Saturday (June 8) after officials said a U.S. drone strike had killed nine people in the northwest of the country.

The missile strike, on a compound near the Afghan border in the North Waziristan region late on Friday (June 7), was the first U.S. drone attack in Pakistan sinceNawaz Sharif was sworn in on Wednesday (June 5).

There was no information about the victims.

In his inaugural address, Sharif called for an immediate end to the U.S. drone strikes.

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the demand for an immediate halt to the attacks was repeated on Saturday.

"The Government of Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with the government of the United States on the drone strike that was conducted in North Waziristan yesterday," foreign office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said.

Chaudhry said drone attacks were "counter-productive" and a violation of the country's sovereignty.

The attack came 10 days after a similar U.S. strike killed the Pakistani Taliban's second-in-command, Wali-ur-Rehman, and six others in a major blow to the militant group.

President Barack Obama said last month the United States would scale back drone strikes, only using them when a threat was "continuing and imminent".

Drone casualties are difficult to verify. Foreign journalists must have permission from the military to visit the Pashtun tribal areas along the Afghan border. Talibanfighters often seal off the sites of drone strikes immediately.