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U.S. drone strikes kill 12 in Pakistan

Sydney, Fri, 24 Aug 2012 ANI

Sydney, Aug 24 (ANI): At least 12 persons were killed after U.S drones dropped missiles on three areas in northwestern Pakistan on Friday.

"Five people were killed in the attack on Makki Ghar area, four in Andara and three in Darai Nishtar in Shawal valley of North Waziristan," The Age quoted an official, as saying.

The identities of those killed were not known, the official said.

The region is believed to be a hub of the deadly Haqqani Network and Hafiz Gul Bahadar group, who launch raids across the border on national and international troops in Afghanistan.

The strike came a day after Pakistan summoned a U.S. diplomat to lodge a formal protest about the recent drone attacks, which Pakistan calls "unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty". Pakistan has also said the attacks bolster anti-U.S. sentiment.

There have been drone strikes reported on a daily basis for the last week.

The U.S. has been pushing Pakistan for years to carry out a military offensive in the area against the Haqqanis, who have launched some of the most deadly attacks on the U.S.-led foreign forces in Afghanistan.

Despite Islamabad's repeated protests, the Obama administration is not willing to halt the CIA drone campaign in the tribal areas. Washington insists they are necessary to target rebels in the lawless region, considered largely beyond the effective control of the Pakistani security forces. (ANI)

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