A militant Taliban group warned Thursday of reprisals in Pakistan if there was another US drone attack, as the government condemned the latest missile strike in its territory.
An unmanned Predator drone. A militant Taliban group warned on Thursday of reprisals in Pakistan if there was another US drone attack, as the government condemned the latest missile strike in its territory.(AFP/USAF/File)
Top Pakistani Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur warned he would mount revenge attacks if the US carried out further strikes in tribal territory after missiles fired from a drone Wednesday killed six people, including a major Al-Qaeda operative.
Bahadur’s group has been accused by the United States of launching attacks across the border in Afghanistan, but it abstains from violence in Pakistani territory under an understanding with military authorities.
“We will start revenge attacks across other districts if the US drone attacks do not stop after November 20,” Taliban spokesman Ahmadullah Ahmadi said in a statement.
Speaking in parliament, Pakistani premier Yousuf Raza Gilani denounced the latest drone attack, which occurred at Bannu district in northwest Pakistan.
“These attacks are adding to our problems. They are intolerable and we do not support them,” Gilani told the national assembly.
The foreign ministry also summoned Anne Patterson, the American ambassador to Islamabad, to lodge a strong protest over the strikes that have fuelled public anger, foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said in the capital.
Sadiq said the US diplomat was told that “continued drone attacks undermined public support for government counterterrorism efforts and stressed that these attacks must be stopped”.
“It was underscored to the US ambassador that such attacks were a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.