Updated 10/1 10:35 PM EST
An apparent unmanned US drone attacked a house in North Waziristan last night, killing at least nine and wounding several others. Some reports say that foreign militants are among the dead, and others claim the drone came under fire from the building, which was demolished in the strike.
This is just the latest in a series of US strikes along the border regions of North and South Waziristan which have strained relations between the two nations. Pakistani officials have condemned the unilateral strikes as a violation of their nation’s sovereignty, and while US officials have repeatedly promised to respect said sovereignty the attacks have continued. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insists that the United States has every right to launch attacks on Pakistani soil without prior permission from their government.
But Pakistani officials insist the attacks are counterproductive, and Pakistani Prime Minister Raza Gilani has reportedly termed the US strikes “terrorism.” The strikes have led to a tense situation across the mountainous border and have led to several incidents, most recently a five minute exchange of fire between US and Pakistan troops along the border between North Waziristan and Afghanistan’s Khost Province.
The strikes have also stirred anti-US sentiment among the Pakistani people, many of whom blame the US strikes for stirring up a recent spate of terrorist attacks across the nation, particularly the blast at the Islamabad Marriott Hotel late last month which killed 60 people.
The group that claimed credit for the bombing said they were targeting US marines and NATO officials at the hotel, a popular destination for foreigners. They also later warned of future attacks against others who, like the hotel’s owner, “facilitate Americans and NATO crusaders.”