Article: "U.S. bombs Pakistan, 18 reported dead"
Source: TheStar.com / Associated Press
Excerpt(s): ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Suspected U.S. missiles killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border today in the first such attacks on the militant stronghold since President Barack Obama took office, Pakistani officials said. At least five foreign militants were among those killed in the strikes by unmanned aircraft in two parts of the frontier region, an intelligence official said without naming them. There was no information on the identities of the others. Pakistan's leaders had expressed hope Obama might halt the strikes, but few observers expected he would end a tactic that U.S. officials claim has killed several top al-Qaida operatives and is denying the group a safe haven on the Pakistani side. The United States has staged more than 30 missile strikes inside Pakistan since August – a barrage seen as a sign of frustration in Washington over Islamabad's failed efforts to curb militants it blames for violence in Afghanistan. Pakistan publicly protests the strikes in the northwest as violations of its sovereignty that often kill civilians and undermine its own campaign against insurgents also accused of launching bloody attacks on targets inside Pakistan. But many observers believe the government secretly agrees with the tactic and may provide intelligence on the targets, noting that Islamabad's admitting to assisting the attacks would be politically damaging. The first attack today took place in the village of Zharki in North Waziristan, when a single drone fired three missiles in the space of 10 minutes, the security officials said.
Link to Full Story: http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/576172