Pakistan air force on high alertMarch 19th, 2011 - 3:19 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, March 19 (IANS) The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has intensified air patrolling over the country’s northwestern tribal areas after a US drone attack killed over 40 people recently, BBC Urdu reported.
US unmanned drones had fired four missiles March 17 at a suspected Taliban compound in Data Khel town in North Waziristan district along the Afghan border, killing at least 41 people and injuring many others.
A report by AKI, however, said there were only local tribal leaders who had gathered to settle a financial dispute.
The PAF cancelled the holidays of personnel assigned to keep vigil on the country’s airspace, Dawn News reported citing BBC Urdu.
On Friday, Islamabad announced it has decided to pull out of the trilateral ministerial meeting between the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan scheduled for March 26 in Brussels.
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir handed over a formal protest statement on the drone attack to US Ambassador Cameron Munter.
“It is evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited,” Dawn News quoted Bashir as telling Munter.
The CIA has been carrying out attacks in northwest Pakistan using pilotless drones since 2004. This year there have been 19 drone strikes so far in which at least 95 people have been killed.
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