A Pakistani protester holds a burning US flag as they shout slogans during a protest in Multan on February 9, 2012 against the US drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal region.
At least ten people have been killed in a US assassination drone attack in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border.
The unmanned aircraft targeted Dar-i-Nishtar residential region in Shawal area, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan early Saturday, killing ten people and injuring several others.
The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in the US drone strikes have strained relations between the two allies, prompting Pakistani officials to send warnings to the US administration over the assaults.
In a recent reaction to drone strikes, Pakistani Foreign Ministry summoned political counselor at the US embassy Jonathan Pratt to lodge a formal protest over an assassination drone attack on a school in North Waziristan in late in April that left three civilians dead.
The US says the operations target militants, although surveys show most of the victims are civilians.
According to a Pakistani human rights lawyer, Shahzad Akbar, over 2,800 of the 3,000 people killed over the past seven years in US drone strikes in Pakistan were civilians.
That means that “over 2,800 people were civilians, whose identities are not known, and they have just been killed on suspicion of being militants,” Akbar said.
North Waziristan and other tribal regions in northwestern Pakistan have been frequently targeted by US drones over the past few years.
This is while, top level talks to patch up damaged relations between the United States and Pakistan ended in failure in April over Washington’s refusal to apologize for the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO airstrike in November 2011.
In 2001, Pakistan entered an alliance with the US against the so-called war on terrorism but the controversial issue of the drone strikes, considered by Islamabad as a violation of the country’s sovereignty, has at times jeopardized the partnership.