US did not warn of missile strike: Pakistan

US did not warn of missile strike: Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan said on Thursday it was not warned about a suspected US missile strike in its northwest that came the same day a top American official assured Pakistani leaders of US respect for its sovereignty.

The reported attack will likely fuel anger in Pakistan over a surge in cross-border operations by US forces, including a 3 September ground assault that has strained the countries’ seven-year anti-terror alliance.

Washington has long been concerned about Pakistani tribal regions near the Afghan border that militants use as bases from which to plan attacks in Afghanistan.

Two intelligence officials said that on Wednesday several missiles hit a compound in South Waziristan used by Taliban militants and Hezb-i-Islami, another group involved in escalating attacks on US and government troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

They said informants in the area reported that six people were dead and three more wounded. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The strike came as the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, was in Pakistan visiting with the prime minister, the army chief and other officials.

According to a statement from the US Embassy, Mullen said the US was committed to respecting Pakistan’s sovereignty and sought more cooperation in the war on terror.

During a press conference Thursday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was among those who met with Mullen, said Pakistani officials “were not informed" of the alleged missile strike.

US Embassy spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos declined to comment on Thursday.