Pakistan denies US bid to widen drone-strike zones

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 20, 2010 11:35

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has rejected a US request to expand the areas where American missiles can target Taliban and al-Qaida operatives, a senior Pakistani intelligence official said Saturday.

The US has sharply increased the attacks by remote-controlled drones in Pakistani territory, launching more than 100 this year. Most have hit North Waziristan, believed to be a hide-out of senior militants who plot attacks against NATO and US troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan privately tolerates the strikes in militant strongholds near the Afghan border as a "necessary evil" but cannot sanction widening them into more-populated areas, said the official with the Pakistani military Inter Service Intelligence agency, or ISI. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.


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