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Pakistan summons U.S. diplomat over drone strikes

(Xinhua)

09:10, August 24, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Thursday summoned a senior American diplomat and conveyed protest against the recent drone strikes in the country's North Waziristan tribal region, Pakistani Foreign Ministry said.

A series of U.S. drone attacks bombed North Waziristan over the past few days in three separate attacks, killing at least 14 people.

The attacks came as Pakistanis had been celebrating the festival of Eid al-Fitr.

"A senior U.S. diplomat was called to the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was informed that the drone strikes were unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty," the Foreign Ministry said.

The United States has ignored Pakistan's calls for a halt to drone strikes, which Islamabad says are counterproductive in the war on terror and spark anti-American sentiments.

But Washington insists that the attacks are the key to eliminate al-Qaeda remnants and Taliban.

The CIA says that militants are using North Waziristan as the launching pad for cross-border attacks on foreign and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

Americans are urging Pakistan to launch a major operation against the militants in North Waziristan but Islamabad has so far unwilling to go after the militants there.

Section of Pakistani media recently reported that the military may launch a targeted offensive in the region shortly.
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