The US has conducted another unauthorized drone airstrike in Pakistan's
troubled northwest, leaving at least 23 people dead and several others
Officials say the US drones have fired five missiles into North Waziristan close
to the Afghan border.
Meanwhile, Pakistani medics reported that the missiles fired by US drones have
contaminated the environment with unknown chemicals.
They say most of those wounded by US drone airstrikes in North Waziristan are
hospitalized for various skin, eye and respiratory diseases caused by chemicals.
The US often carries out such attacks on Pakistan's tribal regions, claiming
that the militants are their target.
But locals say civilians are the main victims of the non-UN-sanctioned US
The issue of civilian casualties has strained the relations between Islamabad
and Washington with the Pakistani government repeatedly objecting to the
Attacks by unmanned American planes have left dozens of people dead in the
volatile region over the past weeks.
The aerial attacks, initiated by former US president George W. Bush, have been
escalated under President Barack Obama.
Islamabad has repeatedly condemned the attacks, saying they violate Pakistan's
The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes in Pakistan pose a growing
challenge to the international rule of law.
Philip Alston, UN special envoy on extrajudicial killings, said in a report in
late October 2010 that the attacks were undermining the rules designed to
protect the right of life.
Alston also said he fears that the drone killings by the US Central Intelligence
Agency could develop a "play station" mentality.