Putting aside the pressure and criticism of Pakistan, another US drone strike killed at least 17 people and injured six in Orakzai Agency, the tribal area of Pakistan.
The latest attack indicated that the drone campaign is not going to stop but it is actually spreading in the region.
It is vital to mention here that this attack was the second attack in Orakzai Agency since the US launched its drone campaign in tribal belt of the country and the first in over three years.
On April 1, 2009, 12 militants were killed when a US drone fired missiles on the suspected headquarters of the local Taliban chief in Khadezai area of Orakzai region. The death toll of 17 is also the highest since August last year, when a strike killed 21 Taliban fighters.
An official while speaking to the media said, “The attack was aimed at the compound of Maulana Shakirullah, who is the commander of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).”
The militant wing run by Shakirullah has been linked with the Haqqani network and Al-Qaeda.
According to reports, the unmanned aircrafts fired four missiles on a compound belonging to Maulvi Shakirullah’s seminary. Another report claimed that most of the deceased belong to Afghanistan.
The identities and nationalities of the militants killed in the strikes is yet to be ascertained.
Earlier in the day, eight people were killed and 20 were injured when a roadside-planted improvised explosive device exploded on Mushti Mela road in Orakzai agency’s Hasanzai Bazar area.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office lodged a fresh protest with the US over the continued drone attacks.
The ministry spokesperson on Thursday said the US embassy was informed that drone strikes on Pakistani territory are a “clear violation of international law and Pakistan’s sovereignty.”
“These attacks are unacceptable,” said the foreign ministry spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan, in a statement issued here. This is not the first time that Pakistan has condemned and lodged a formal protest with the US on the matter.