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Missile strike kills 12 in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — At least 12 people were killed Friday after a missile slammed into a small village in northwest Pakistan in a suspected U.S. airstrike near the border of Afghanistan, according to a Pakistani security official.

The latest in a series of such incidents, the missile strike on the tribal village of Kam Sam in North Waziristan marked the first attack since Pakistan's top defense official warned U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, the newly appointed head of U.S. Central Command, to halt airborne assaults inside Pakistan.

Petraeus said during a visit to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad this week that he would heed the Pakistani government's concerns about the U.S.-led, cross-border strikes. But during a subsequent visit to Afghanistan, he touted the success of such attacks in eliminating top Taliban commanders. He has made no express promise to end the missile strikes.

Since August, more than 100 people have been killed in 18 U.S. airstrikes in Pakistan's restive tribal frontier lands along the border of Afghanistan. Pakistan's largely ungoverned Federally Administered Tribal Areas have increasingly come to be seen by U.S. officials as the pivot point in the war on Islamist insurgents in the region.

Pakistani military officials declined to comment on the missile strike Friday in Kam Sam.

The United States generally does not comment on missile strikes in Pakistan and so far neither has confirmed nor denied responsibility in any of the latest attacks.

U.S.-led strikes have raised the ire of top Pakistani officials who say the attacks undermine U.S. credibility in the region and fuel anti-American sentiment.

On Monday, Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmad Mukhtar warned Petraeus that further strikes would provoke "outrage" among Pakistanis.

Missile strike kills 12 in Pakistan 11/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:18am]
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