Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir has demanded a formal apology from the United States for a drone strike earlier Thursday which targeted a tribal jirga, killing large numbers of civilians and tribal fighters loyal to the Pakistani government in North Waziristan.
Other officials chastised the US over the attack as well, including Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani and Army Chief General Parvez Kayani, who insisted the attack was a “complete violation of human rights.”
The attack was among the deadliest single US attacks on the tribal areas in the past several years, rivaling a 2009 attack on a funeral procession which killed over 80 people over the course of two strikes.
Though the Pakistani government denies it, US officials have repeatedly confirmed that Pakistan has a secret agreement in place permitting the constant US drone strikes. The US rarely comments on its attacks, except on the rare occasions when a militant leader is actually killed. The vast majority of the victims are never identified.