Thursday, May 24, 2012

U.S. Drone Strike Kills 10 in Northwest Pakistan

U.S. drone strike kills 10 in northwest
Pakistan: officials

Wed, May 23 2012

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone strike on suspected Islamist militants in northwest Pakistan killed 10 people on Thursday, Pakistani intelligence officials said, an attack likely to raise tensions in a standoff with Washington over NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

The pilotless drone aircraft fired two missiles at a compound in a village in North Waziristan, a day after a similar attack killed four suspected militants in the same region.

The United States has been urging Pakistan to mount an offensive in North Waziristan to pursue members of the Haqqani militant network, one of Washington's most feared foes in neighboring Afghanistan.

That looks more unlikely than ever, as a result of a crisis in relations between Washington and Islamabad over a range of issues.

The United States has been pushing Pakistan to re-open supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan in difficult talks that show no signs of a breakthrough anytime soon.

Pakistan closed the routes, which are seen as vital to the planned withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan before the end of 2014, in protest against last November's killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO air attack along the Afghan border.

U.S. frustrations with Pakistan deepened on Wednesday after Pakistani authorities sentenced a doctor accused of helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden to 33 years in jail on charges of treason.

(Reporting by Haji Mujtaba in MIRANSHAH and Jibran Ahmad in PESHAWAR; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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