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US drone. - File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has strongly protested the US drone attacks in North Waziristan on Saturday morning which killed at least six people.

In a statement Foreign Office spokesman said Pakistan has consistently maintained that these attacks are a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity and also in contravention of international law.

Six people were killed and two others injured in US drone attack on Shawwal area of North Waziristan. According to reports drone fired two missiles on a house and a vehicle.

The al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in North Waziristan, blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, is one of the thorniest issues between Islamabad and Washington.

Washington has long demanded that Pakistan take action against the Haqqanis, whom the United States accused of attacking the US embassy in Kabul last September and acting like the “veritable arm” of Pakistani intelligence.

Pakistan has in turn demanded that Afghan and US forces do more to stop Pakistani Taliban crossing the Afghan border to relaunch attacks on its forces.

There has been a dramatic increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since May, when a Nato summit in Chicago could not strike a deal to end a six-month blockade on convoys transporting supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan.

On July 3 however, Islamabad agreed to end the blockade after the United States apologised for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in botched air strikes last November.

The latest attack, which came after a lull of about three weeks, was in the same region where a drone strike on June 4 killed 15 militants, including senior al Qaeda figure Abu Yahya al-Libi.

ISI chief Zaheerul Islam's trip to Washington this month signalled a thaw in relations beset by crisis since US troops killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden near Islamabad in May 2011.

Updated Aug 18, 2012 03:49pm

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