Pakistani authorities have condemned a “unilateral” move by the United States to bomb areas inside its territory through a drone strike, saying a Wednesday attack which allegedly targeted militant hideouts would further hurt trust between the two countries.
“Such unilateral actions, as that of today, are detrimental to the spirit of cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism,” said a statement from the Pakistani foreign office on Wednesday, adding that the unmanned aircraft’s missiles “targeted an Afghan refugee” camp in Pakistan’s northwestern region of Kurram.
Reports said two major figures from the Haqqani network, a militant group based in Pakistan and allied to the Taliban in Afghanistan, were killed in the US drone attack reported on Wednesday.
A police officer and an intelligence official identified the militants as Ahsan Khorai and Nasir Mehmood.
“Two militants from Haqqani network were killed in the drone attack,” said the intelligence official, adding that the two militants lived in the village of Dapa Mamozai in Kurram.
Pakistan has become fiercely critical of a new US policy to increase the number of drone attacks targeting locations inside the country. Islamabad fears the attacks could spread beyond the tribal regions.
Two of such drone strikes over the past two months left a man severely injured in FATA and killed a Haqqani militant in an undisclosed location.
The drones are normally dispatched from US bases in Afghanistan. The US military mission in Afghanistan said Wednesday it had no information on the drone strike reports.
US President Donald Trump has criticized Pakistan for its alleged support to militants in Afghanistan. His administration ordered this month a suspension to military assistance to Pakistan worth about $2 billion.