Drone targets boat near Pak-Afghan border: reports

Published December 14, 2013
The image shows a predator drone. — File photo
The image shows a predator drone. — File photo

PESHAWAR: A suspected US drone targeted a boat in the waters of the Kabul river on Saturday near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, sources told DawnNews.

According to initial reports, missiles fired by the drone aircraft struck a boat in the Kabul river on the Afghan side of the porous border, close to Loe Shalman area in Landi Kotal subdivision of Pakistan’s Khyber tribal agency.

Intelligence sources suggested the strike was carried out in Lalpura area of Nangarhar province Afghanistan.

According to some reports, the attack killed up to five suspected militants.

There has so far been no official confirmation of the strike from political authorities from either country.

Pakistan condemns drone attacks and says the attacks in the semi-autonomous tribal areas violate its “sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Pakistan moreover maintains that drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications apart from setting dangerous precedents in inter-state relations.

The attack comes days after the US warned Pakistan that coalition support reimbursements and security assistance could be held up if land routes remained closed for movement of US and Nato cargo to and from Afghanistan.

The warning came in US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel’s Monday visit to Pakistan during which he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif.

Hagel’s trip, which is also the first by an American defence secretary to Pakistan in four years, followed US decision to suspend the use of land routes through Pakistani territory in the wake of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf’s protests against drone attacks.

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