US denies drone struck Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency


ISLAMABAD: The United States, on Thursday, denied that its forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in the Kurram Agency, responding to a statement released by the ministry of foreign affairs.

“The claim in an MFA statement yesterday that US forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency yesterday is false,” said US Embassy spokesperson.

Haqqani commander, two others killed in Kurram drone strike

A drone strike had allegedly killed a commander of the Haqqani network and his two accomplices on Wednesday. The Foreign Office also condemned the drone strike which, according to a statement, hit an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency.

“Pakistan condemns a drone strike in Kurram Agency carried out by the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) this morning, which targetted an Afghan refugee camp,” the FO said.

According to a senior government official in Kurram, the drone fired one missile at a two-room compound, killing the militant and destroying the building. Two Pakistani intelligence officials in the area also said the US had carried out a drone strike, but according to their information the drone fired two missiles and killed two militants of the Haqqani network in the compound.

PAF can shoot down any drone violating Pakistani airspace, says air chief

A source close to the Haqqani group confirmed that at least one mid-level Afghan commander had been killed.

 

The drone strike came a day after a deadly attack took place on a hotel in Kabul in which scores of people, including foreigners, were killed. The Afghan intelligence officials claimed that the attack was carried out by the Haqqani network and that the explosives used in the assault were ‘made in Pakistan.’

The Kabul attack allegedly prompted the US to reiterate its demand seeking action against the alleged hideouts of the Haqqani network.

Pakistan, however, denied the allegations and insisted there was no organised terrorist infrastructure on its soil.

The drone attack in Kurram Agency came amid growing friction between Pakistan and the US since President Trump’s New Year tweet slamming Islamabad for not doing enough in the fight against terrorism.

Anticipating similar attacks, Chief of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said, last month, that the PAF could shoot down any drone violating the country’s airspace.

Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan had continued to emphasise to the US the importance of sharing actionable intelligence so that the appropriate action was taken against terrorists by Pakistan forces within its territory.

“Pakistan has also been stressing the need of early repatriation of Afghan refugees as their presence in Pakistan helps Afghan terrorists to melt and morph among them,” he added.

“Such unilateral actions, as that of today, are detrimental to the spirit of cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism,” the spokesperson said.

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1617724/1-us-denies-drone-struck-afghan-refugee-camp-kurram-agency/