Pakistan’s claim that the United States forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency on Wednesday is false, said US Embassy Spokesperson Rick Sinelsine in Pakistan on Thursday but the US official did not confirm or deny whether the US army had carried out a drone attack in the region. The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday, responding to the US Embassy’s statement, said that Pakistan stands by its statement.
On Wednesday, Pakistan had condemned a US drone strike deep inside its territory targeting an Afghan refugee camp and warned Washington that such ‘unilateral’ steps would be detrimental to cooperation between the two countries in fight against terrorism.
This was the first US drone strike inside Pakistani territory over the past 19 months, the FO had confirmed, as none of the over one dozen attacks by the unmanned vehicle reported in the media during this period had drawn official condemnation from Pakistan’s FO.
“Pakistan condemns a drone strike in Kurram Agency carried out by the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) this [Wednesday] morning, which targeted an Afghan refugee camp,” the FO statement had said.
Area residents had told Dawn that an unmanned plane fired missiles on a mud house in Spin Thall near the garrison town of Thall, killing two men namely Ihsanullah and Nasir Mehmood. While locals said this was the third drone strike in Spin Thall in recent months, this was perhaps the first condemnation by the FO after the killing of Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour by a drone in Balochistan in May 22, 2016.