Tue, 01 Nov 2011 08:48:09 GMT

Pak teen who protested US drone strikes killed in UAV attack



From Rezaul H Laskar
Islamabad, Nov 1 (PTI) A Pakistani teenager, who recently joined a protest rally against US drone strikes, was killed in an attack by the CIA-operated spy planes in North Waziristan tribal region, a campaigner against the missile strikes said today.

Sixteen-year-old Muhammad Tariq of North Waziristan had joined hundreds of tribesmen in the rally against drone strikes in the Pakistani capital on Friday. The protesters had called for an immediate end to the strikes, saying they killed many civilians.

Tariq was killed with his cousin Waheed, 12, in a US drone strike last night near Mirali, a key town in the restive North Waziristan tribal agency, said Karim Khan, who is leading a campaign against the missile attacks.

Khan, who belongs to Mirali, had lost his son in a drone attack last year.

He filed a case against the former CIA station chief and several top US officials in a police station in Islamabad for what he said was the murder of innocent tribesmen in drone strikes.

At least four people were killed in last night''s drone strike on a house and a vehicle, according to local media reports.

It was the forth strike in Waziristan in five days.

On Sunday, US spy planes fired six missiles at a house in North Waziristan and killed at least six people.

At least 11 people, including a key Taliban commander, were killed in two strikes in South and North Waziristan on Thursday last.

The US has stepped up drone strikes in recent months despite opposition from the Pakistan government.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that no permission had been given to the US to launch drone attacks on targets inside Pakistan.

Gilani, who was in Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, told Pakistani expatriates that the drone attacks were counter-productive because they caused collateral damage and undermined his government''s efforts to garner support against extremists and terrorists.

He contended that the drone attacks were one of the reasons for the deterioration of relations between Pakistan and the US.

The US spy aircraft routinely carry out missile strikes in Pakistan''s tribal regions, which the CIA has described as a safe haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda elements.

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