Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif stands defied as US drone strike kills 7, US envoy summoned

Nawaz SharifIn his inaugural address to parliament, Nawaz Sharif called for an immediate end to U.S. drone strikes on militants, which many view as a breach of Pakistan's sovereignty. (Reuters)

A U.S. drone strike killed seven people and wounded three in northwest Pakistan late on Friday, security officials said, in the first such attack since the swearing-in of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister this week.

In his inaugural address to parliament, Sharif called for an immediate end to U.S. drone strikes on militants, which many view as a breach of Pakistan's sovereignty.

The bombing comes 10 days after a similar U.S. drone attack killed the Pakistani Taliban's second-in-command, Wali-ur-Rehman, and six others in a major blow to the militant group.

President Barack Obama said last month the United States would scale back drone strikes, only using them when a threat was "continuing and imminent".

Friday's attack was on a compound near the Afghan border in North Waziristan region, 45 km (25 miles) west of the regional capital Miranshah. At least two missiles were fired from the unmanned aircraft and the death toll could rise, the sources said.

Drone casualties are difficult to verify. Foreign journalists must have permission from the military to visit the Pashtun tribal areas along the Afghan border. Taliban fighters often seal off the sites of drone strikes immediately.

Pakistan summons US envoy

Just days after taking power, Pakistan's new government has lodged a protest with the U.S. and summoned a top American envoy to vent its frustration following a U.S. drone strike that intelligence officials say killed seven militants.

Friday night's drone strike near the Afghan border came just two days after Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as prime minister.

The protest lodged Saturday indicates Sharif will at least publicly take a tougher line on the matter than the preceding government. That government routinely condemned such strikes but was believed to have secretly supported at least some of them.

A government statement says U.S. charge d'affaires Richard Hoagland was summoned to the Foreign Office on Sharif's instructions.

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