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Another US drone strike hits NW Pakistan, kills 13

U.S. Drone Strikes Resume In Pakistan As Peace Talks Falter

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Missiles from U.S. drones slammed into militant hideouts overnight in northwestern Pakistan, killing 13 suspected insurgents and marking the resumption of the CIA-led program after a nearly six-month break, officials said Thursday.

The two separate drone strikes sparked swift condemnation by the Pakistani government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the strikes, are a violation of Pakistani sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In the first strike, which came late Wednesday, a suspected American drone fired two missiles at a militant hideout in the North Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border, killing three militants.

Then, early Thursday a suspected U.S. missile strike targeted another militant compound in North Waziristan, killing at least 10 people, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Pakistan's northwest, particularly North Waziristan, is home to numerous militant groups - both local and al-Qaida-linked foreign groups - who often work together, sharing fighters, money or expertise.

There was no immediate information on the identities of those killed in the strikes but the two intelligence officials who gave information about the strike said the area is dominated by the Haqqani network, and most of those killed are believed to have belonged to the organization.

"We have also been hearing some names coming from our field agents, but we don't have any confirmation so far," said one of the officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The Haqqani network is believed to carry out operations against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan from bases in North Waziristan and is considered one of the more lethal groups operating in Afghanistan.

Due to stricter rules on the use of drones, diplomatic sensitivities and the changing nature of the al-Qaida threat, the number of American drone strikes had dwindled. The ones Wednesday and Thursday were the first since Christmas, and even before that, the number of strikes every year had been steadily dropping.

The Pakistani government and military are believed to have supported the drone strikes to a degree in the past but in recent years have become more vocal in their opposition. The strikes are extremely controversial in Pakistan where many people consider them a violation of the country's sovereignty.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani court on Thursday struck down a government order barring former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who faces treason charges, from leaving the country. The ex-president's court victory, though, was tempered because the government can still appeal.

The ruling by the Karachi court could pave the way for the man who ruled Pakistan for nearly a decade to leave the country after an embarrassing trial that saw him become the first chief of army staff to face treason charges.

It also puts the Pakistani government, whose decision to push for Musharraf's trial put it at odds with the powerful military, in a tricky position where it must decide whether it wants to further anger the military by trying to keep Musharraf from leaving the country.

Under the Karachi court ruling, the government has 15 days to appeal the decision. This means Musharraf can't leave Pakistan immediately. The court gave no reason for striking Musharraf's name from the exit control list, which prevents people from leaving the country, usually in legal cases.

The 70-year-old Musharraf took power in a 1999 and then stepped down in 2008. He later left the country, but returned to Pakistan in March 2013, hoping for a political comeback.

Instead, he got embroiled in court cases, including the treason charges which are connected to his decision in 2007 to declare a state of emergency and detain senior judges, including the chief justice.

__

Associated Press writer Adil Jawad in Karachi contributed to this report.

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jurmik June 12 2014 at 6:48 AM

The USA with it's world police mentality is less liked evey day.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
3 replies
ghidra15 June 12 2014 at 4:36 AM

Ten people. There is statistically no way all of those people were terrorists, or affiliated with terrorists. Even if there was just one innocent there, that's enough. And do you think that person's loved ones are going to love a country that casually murders innocents along with the guilty? No, they're going to hate us, where they might not have hated us before. They might even BECOME terrorists.

This is not the way a free society conducts its business.

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10 replies
cameltoes_david June 12 2014 at 6:10 AM

Job security for the Military Industrial Complex and placed on the backs of the taxpayers.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
cary June 12 2014 at 10:42 AM

So, GITMO is a recruiting tool for terrorists, but drone missile attacks are not? Please explain that, comrade.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
patrickcain June 12 2014 at 4:34 AM

War is Hell! ; if they were alive they'd tell you thats where alquita belongs!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
snappercox patrickcain June 12 2014 at 8:11 AM

Just imagine they get to sleep with 60 virgin goats. Their dream come true.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
cza2129 June 12 2014 at 11:07 AM

Funny how the CIA stopped droning Pakistan right around the SAME time that they were "negotiating" with the Taliban and Haqanni network for Bergdahl's release and they begin again after his release....Hmmmmm?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
usednrare cza2129 June 12 2014 at 2:07 PM

Well, that's public knowledge. The military has stated that they were holding back until Bergdahl was released. This is a direct result of his release, for better or for worse. This is why military brass was for the POW swap. It meant that they can now go proactive, no holds barred.

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pbsplace June 12 2014 at 10:57 AM

I can't understand why we can attack countries and not expect retaliation. To me, when one nation attacks another, that is a declaration of war. Am I missing something here?

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taostop June 12 2014 at 10:31 AM

Always love reading the comments from the bleeding heart liberals. It's all about burying your head in the sand. Ignoring the victims and allowing the criminals a free hand to do as they please!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
mikelookup June 12 2014 at 6:19 AM

Keep it up!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
kupiec8 June 12 2014 at 9:00 AM

That's what happens when you habg around with criminals. Pick your friends more carefully. It's obvious you hang with bad homies in the hood. Kill them all !!!!!!!!!!!!! The enemy counts on "soft" people like you for your sympathy ... loser

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
twosharks kupiec8 June 12 2014 at 9:39 AM

Who decides who the criminal is? What evidence is required before a strike?
How do innocent women and children know who the USA considers a criminal?

Pathetic siimple minded folks like you are destroying our world.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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