At least 14 killed by missiles from suspected US drone


Missiles fired from a suspected US drone killed at least 14 people in Pakistan’s tribal belt early yesterday, the third strike in three days and a signal of the Obama administration’s determination to press ahead with the controversial covert campaign even as it conducts tense political negotiations in Islamabad.

The attack in North Waziristan, a bustling hub of Taliban and al-Qaeda militancy along the Afghan border, was the eighth strike since a major Nato summit meeting in Chicago ended two weeks ago without agreement on reopening Nato supply lines through Pakistan.

Pakistan blocked the supply lines in November after US airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and negotiations are bogged down in arguments over transit fees. With a congressional deadline looming, both sides agree time for a deal is running out. A defence department official is due in Islamabad this week as part of efforts to break the deadlock. – (New York Times)