Keeping up the pressure from the skies on terrorists in the tribal belt adjoining Afghanistan, the Central Intelligence Agency-operated drones fired four missiles in the Kurram tribal agency on Monday

Keeping up the pressure from the skies on terrorists in the tribal belt adjoining Afghanistan, the Central Intelligence Agency-operated drones fired four missiles in the Kurram tribal agency on Monday; reportedly killing nearly 10 militants owing allegiance to the Haqqani network.

This is one of the few instances when Kurram, which borders North Waziristan, has been targeted by the unmanned Predators. Given its proximity to North Waziristan, members of the Haqqani network are said to use Kurram as a safe haven and an alternate route into Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, tribesmen came out in protest during the day in North Waziristan against the drone attacks that have been pounding the tribal belt at regular intervals despite the public condemnation of such strikes by the Pakistan Government which describes the drone issue as a "core irritant" in bilateral relations with the U.S..

The tribesmen demanded an immediate end to the drone attacks; claiming that innocent men, women and children were also being killed by the Predators in these calibrated strikes based on ground intelligence. Though a senior Pakistani Army officer had publicly claimed that drone attacks were successful in taking out terrorists, the mainstream narrative in Pakistan is that such strikes are counter-productive as the loss of innocent lives produces more terrorists.

However, the U.S. has continued with these attacks undeterred by Pakistan’s public pronouncements even as WikiLeaks has revealed that both the civil and military leadership of Pakistan have found drones useful in the war on terror but choose to denounce them publicly because of the public sentiment.

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