PAKISTAN, March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Pakistan has strongly condemned the US over an unauthorized drone strike, which has killed at least 35 people in the North Waziristan tribal region, and demanded Washington’s apology, Iranian Television PRESS TV reported on Friday.
The Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani said that it is “highly regrettable that innocent citizens should be targeted with complete disregard for human life,” AFP quoted him as saying.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has also condemned the attack as “irrational behavior.” He stressed that such strikes will only strengthen the hands of extremist elements.
Civilians and police were among those killed in the assault that struck a peaceful meeting of tribal elders on Thursday. This was the seventh such attack within nine days and the most deadly since 2008.
Islamabad is now demanding an apology from Washington.
“Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir conveyed this strong condemnation to US ambassador Cameron Munter and has demanded an apology and explanation,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua said in a statement on Friday.
The non-UN-sanctioned attack targeted was the 23rd such strike in Pakistan since the beginning of the year.
Most of the victims of drone attacks have been civilians. The US military denies the claims, saying its air raids target militants. (*)