November 21, 2013

US drone strike kills 5 in Pakistan

The attack was only the second outside of the tribal region near the Afghanistan border.

The Associated Press

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The Pakistani government has stepped up its opposition to drone attacks since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office in June. Sharif met with President Barack Obama in Washington in October and pressed him to end the strikes. But the U.S. has shown no sign that it intends to stop using what it considers a vital tool to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Imran Khan, the former cricket star who now leads the party that runs the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, has called for Pakistan to block trucks carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan in response to continued drone strikes. The federal government has shown little interest in doing so, but Khan plans to hold a strike on Nov. 23 and block the road through the province that some of the trucks take.

Most drone strikes have occurred in North Waziristan, the headquarters of the Haqqani network in Pakistan. The U.S. has repeatedly urged Pakistan to conduct an operation in North Waziristan, but the government has refused. Many analysts believe Pakistan doesn’t want to cross the Haqqani network, a group with which it has historical ties and could be an ally in Afghanistan after foreign forces withdraw.

Dawar reported from Peshawar. Associated Press writers Riaz Khan in Peshawar contributed to this report.

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