Pakistan Condemns Drone Strike that Killed Haqqani Network Commander

 Tribal area near the border with Afghanistan. (AFP)
Tribal area near the border with Afghanistan. (AFP)
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Pakistan Condemns Drone Strike that Killed Haqqani Network Commander

 Tribal area near the border with Afghanistan. (AFP)
Tribal area near the border with Afghanistan. (AFP)

A suspected US drone attack in northwest Pakistan killed a fighter from the Haqqani network allied to Afghanistan's Taliban on Wednesday, officials said, days after Afghan authorities accused the group of attacking a Kabul hotel, AFP reported.

The strike took place more than 50 kilometres from the Afghan border, in the village of Mamuzai in Kurram tribal district.

Pakistan's foreign ministry condemned the strike, which it said was carried out by NATO's US-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and targeted an Afghan refugee camp.

A spokesman for the UN's refugee agency told AFP there are no refugee camps in the tribal areas, and no sign of a camp can be seen in pictures from the site.

The US embassy in Islamabad declined to comment and there was no immediate comment from NATO forces in Kabul.

A senior government official in Kurram told AFP that the drone fired one missile at a two-room compound, killing the fighter and destroying the building.

He named the dead man as Nasir Mehmood, alias Ihsanullah Khurya, and described him as an Afghan national and a "mid-level commander of the Haqqani network".

"The US drone remained in the air even after the strike and was flying there for almost 15 minutes," the official said.

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

Pakistan's foreign ministry slammed the "unilateral action" as "detrimental" to cooperation between both allies.

“Pakistan has continued to emphasize to the US the importance of sharing actionable intelligence so that appropriate action is taken against terrorists by our forces within our territory,” the ministry said in a statement.

The US and Afghanistan have long accused Pakistan of ignoring or even collaborating with groups that attack Afghanistan from havens inside Pakistan, a claim Islamabad denies.

On Sunday the Afghan interior ministry blamed the group for an hours-long attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel in which at least 22 people were killed, including US, Ukrainian, Kazakh and German citizens.

The Taliban, which Haqqani network head Sirajuddin Haqqani is its deputy chief, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani court on Wednesday restrained the government from arresting Hafiz Saeed, the leader of a group accused of carrying out deadly attacks in Mumbai, India, in 2008, his lawyer said, according to DPA.

The agency added that the rule came on the eve of a visit by the UN Security Council’s sanctions monitoring team to Pakistan.



G7 Leaders Focus on Ukraine War, China in Italian Summit

Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, patrol at a roadblock near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in southern Italy, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, patrol at a roadblock near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in southern Italy, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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G7 Leaders Focus on Ukraine War, China in Italian Summit

Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, patrol at a roadblock near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in southern Italy, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary policemen, patrol at a roadblock near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in southern Italy, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Group of Seven (G7) leaders start their annual summit on Thursday looking to double down on support for Ukraine in its war with Russia and offer a united face in confronting China's political and economic ambitions.
With the Middle East, migration and artificial intelligence (AI) also on a packed agenda, the June 13-15 summit in southern Italy would be taxing for leaders at the best of times, but most of them are also bowed down by their own domestic woes, said Reuters.
US President Joe Biden, facing a tough re-election bid in November, arrived in Italy the day after his son Hunter Biden was convicted of lying about his drug use to illegally buy a gun.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appears destined to lose power in a July 4 election, the leaders of France and Germany are reeling from political defeats, and opinion polls are bleak for the prime ministers of Canada and Japan.
Only the host, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, is riding high after triumphing in Italy's European election last weekend, but achieving meaningful results in the luxury Borgo Egnazia hotel resort will be a tall order.
Determined to claim the initiative, the G7 leaders look likely to announce they have agreed on plans to issue $50 billion of loans for Ukraine using interest from frozen Russian assets to back the multi-year debt package.
However officials acknowledge the plan is complex, meaning any deal will only be in principle, with legal experts still having to thrash out the details that will need the backing of European nations, particularly Belgium, which is not in the G7.
For a second year running, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will attend the summit and is due to sign a new, long-term security accord with Biden.
"By signing this we'll also be sending Russia a signal of our resolve. If (Russian President) Vladimir Putin thinks he can outlast the coalition supporting Ukraine, he's wrong," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.
CONFRONTING CHINA
Underscoring US determination to punish Moscow for its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Washington on Wednesday dramatically broadened sanctions on Moscow, including by targeting China-based companies selling semiconductors to Moscow.
By announcing new restrictions on Chinese firms on the eve of the G7 meeting, Biden is no doubt hoping to persuade Western allies to show greater resolve in confronting Beijing over its support for Russia and its industrial over-capacity.
The European Commission told automakers on Wednesday it would impose extra duties of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese electric cars from July, less than a month after Washington quadrupled duties for Chinese EVs to 100%.
While G7 leaders are expected to express concern over high Chinese production levels, which they say disrupt global supply chains and market stability, EU diplomats warn that Europe is anxious to avoid a full-blown trade war with Beijing.
The G7 has thrown open its doors to a large number of outsiders this year, including Pope Francis, who is expected to give a keynote speech on Friday on both the risks and potential of AI.
Among those who have also been invited to Puglia are the leaders of India, Brazil, Argentina, Türkiye, Algeria and Kenya.
Although the summit is scheduled to run until Saturday, many G7 chiefs will leave on Friday night, including Biden, meaning the final day has been earmarked for bilateral meetings for those staying on and a final news conference from Meloni.