US fires 1st drone in Pakistan since fatal strike

AP News
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Posted: Jan 10, 2012 8:36 PM
US fires 1st drone in Pakistan since fatal strike

The U.S. on Tuesday fired off its first drone strike into Pakistan since the errant Nov. 25 airstrikes by U.S. forces that killed two dozen Pakistani troops at two posts along the mountainous border.

A U.S. official says the strike, likely from a CIA drone, occurred Tuesday afternoon.

U.S. officials say there had been no promise by the U.S. government that such drone operations would be avoided, but the lull was part of a broad effort to tamp down tensions with Pakistan.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the drone operations are classified.

Relations with Pakistan plummeted after the late-November airstrikes, prompting Islamabad to shut down key supply routes into Afghanistan and force the U.S. to vacate Shamsi Air Base in southwestern Baluchistan province. The U.S. used the base to service drones that targeted al-Qaida and Taliban militants in the tribal region.

An investigation into the late-November airstrikes concluded that a persistent lack of trust between the U.S. and Pakistan, and a series of communications and coordination errors on both sides, led to the attacks.