• US drone strike kills four in Pakistan: officials

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    MIRANSHAH: A US drone early Wednesday fired two missiles into a house in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal belt, killing four people, local security officials said.

    Another four people were wounded in the attack which took place in Chashma village near Miranshah, the main town of lawless North Waziristan district, a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants along the Afghan border.

    “At least four people have been killed and four injured. US drones are still flying over the area even after the attack,” a local security official in Miranshah told AFP, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

    A second security official confirmed the attack and casualties but said the identity of the victims was yet not clear.

    It was the first attack since historic May 11 general elections won by Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League.

    Incoming prime minister Sharif, who is preparing to take power in the first week of June, has called the drone strikes a “challenge” to his country’s sovereignty and said Washington must take Pakistani concerns seriously.

    Islamabad on Friday repeated its view that US drone strikes in its territory were illegal, after President Barack Obama laid out new guidelines for their use.

    The US president mounted a firm defence of his covert drone war as legal and just in a major speech on counterterrorism policy on Thursday but warned that undisciplined use of the tactic would invite abuses of power.

    Obama said he had approved new guidelines stating that drone strikes could only be used to prevent imminent attacks and when the capture of a suspect was not feasible and if there was a “near certainty” that civilians would not be killed.

    According to Britain’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, CIA drone attacks targeting suspected Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan have killed up to 3,587 people since 2004, including up to 884 civilians.

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