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Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:34PM
File photo shows a US drone firing a missile.

File photo shows a US drone firing a missile.

A fresh US assassination drone strike has claimed the lives of at least four people and severely injured several others in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt near the porous border with Afghanistan. The causalities come after the aerial strikes targeted a vehicle and a residential compound in the Shane Warsak area of Wana, the capital town of South Waziristan on Thursday evening. Local security officials say the CIA-operated unmanned vehicles also fired multiple missiles into open fields across the volatile region. Witnesses say the drones were still hovering over the troubled region, triggering an unprecedented scale of horror and panic among the local residents. The aerial attacks were initiated by former US President George W. Bush, but have escalated under President Obama. Pakistani tribal regions are the target of US terror drones, with Washington claiming that its unmanned aircraft are targeting militants. However, casualty figures clearly indicate that Pakistani civilians are the main victims of the assaults. The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in the strikes has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, prompting Pakistani officials to send warnings to the US administration over the assaults. Despite Pakistani government’s repeated calls on Washington to end the drone attacks, the US government continues its strikes on the tribal regions of the country. The drone strikes have triggered massive anti-US demonstrations across Pakistan to condemn the United States violation of their national sovereignty. The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes in Pakistan pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law. Philip Alston, UN special envoy on extrajudicial killings, said in a report in October 2010 that the attacks were undermining the rules designed to protect the right of life. Alston also said he fears that the drone killings by the US Central Intelligence Agency could develop a "playstation" mentality. JR/JR
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