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Pakistan demands U.S. cut drone strikes, CIA agents

By Agence France-Presse via: Raw Story
Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 — 10:41 am

WASHINGTON — Pakistan has told the United States to sharply cut the number of CIA agents and special forces operating there, and to rein in drone strikes against militants, a US newspaper said Monday.

The New York Times said the order highlighted the near collapse of US-Pakistani cooperation, the result of a row that erupted when CIA officer Raymond Davis shot and killed two men who tried to rob him in January.

The authorities in Islamabad were asking a total of about 335 CIA officers, contractors and special operations forces to leave the country, according to a Pakistani official involved in the decision who was quoted by the daily.

Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Kayani personally ordered the reductions, it added, citing unnamed US and Pakistani officials.

The news came as Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s powerful military spy agency, met in Washington with Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

George Little, a CIA spokesman, told AFP the talks were productive and that relations between the agency and the ISI remained on a “solid footing.”

The Pakistani official involved in the decision to cut back the US presence told the newspaper that Pakistan suspects that what Washington really wants to do is to neutralize the Muslim country’s nuclear arsenal.

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Several Civilians Among 20 Killed in US Drone Attack

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, August 23, 2010


The Obama Administration’s policy of escalating drone strikes took another hit today, after the explosion from a drone attack against the house of “suspected militants” in North Waziristan also destroyed a neighboring house full of women and children.

The combined toll from the blast was 20 people killed, with at least four women and three children among the slain. At least 13 other civilians were also reported wounded, including a number of other children.

Pakistani intelligence officials say most of the “suspects” killed in the attacks were Afghans, but it is unclear how much evidence they had of wrongdoing. Large numbers of Afghan civilians have been living as refugees in the tribal areas since the 2001 US invasion.

The large numbers of civilians (700 in 2009 alone) killed in the US drone strikes has fueled considerable anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. When pressed during a previous visit Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shrugged off concerns about the civilians, saying only “there’s a war going on.”

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