CIA Secretly Ramps Up Drone Hits on Pakistan

Two US strikes reportedly kill 18 today
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2010 11:34 AM CDT
In this July 8, 2010, file photo, a Pakistani paramilitary soldier patrols a hill in Khajore Kut, an area of Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region.   (AP)
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(Newser) – A Reuters report that two US drone strikes killed 18 people in Pakistan today could become a common refrain: The CIA has significantly increased its drone attacks in the country over the last month, thanks to a secret diversion of weapons from the US military in Afghanistan, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move comes as tensions with Pakistan are at a dangerous high.

The CIA has apparently concluded that Pakistan is either unable or unwilling to take out al-Qaeda safe havens. The agency drone strikes are technically covert operations, the Journal explains, because the US military is forbidden to conduct operations in Pakistan. The distinction allows Pakistan's government to officially deny any knowledge. Part of the recent increase is because of reports of a major terror plot being hatched in the country.

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