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Pakistan military rejects U.S. paper report on drone strikes

English.news.cn   2013-03-05 23:21:49            

ISLAMABAD, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan army on Tuesday dismissed an American daily report that two recent drone strikes were not conducted by the U.S. spy aircraft but were carried out by Pakistani forces, calling it a "distortion of the facts," local media reported.

The New York Times quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying the United States did not conducted the two strikes in February that killed nine people.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry has lodged an official protest with the American Embassy over the strikes.

However, the U.S. official said "both of the strikes were carried out by the Pakistani military and falsely attributed to the CIA to avoid criticism from the Pakistani public," The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Commenting on the news report, an army spokesman said that such an accusation was distortion of the facts and seemed to be aimed at diluting Pakistan's stance at drone strikes.

He denied Pakistan's security forces had carried out any operation, including air strikes, in the area on dates mentioned in the news report, a statement from the army's Inter-Services Public Relations said.

The two strikes were carried out on Feb. 6 in North Waziristan and Feb. 8 in South Waziristan respectively.

The controversial CIA-run drone campaign is always criticized by Pakistan and strongly condemned by the public and the tribesmen, who described it as violation of international laws and against the country's sovereignty.

The United States has refused to change its policy on the plea that Pakistani security forces are unable to eliminate al-Qaeda and Taliban members from Waziristan tribal region, who are blamed for cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

Editor: Deng Shasha
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