Protests across Pakistan as US drones kill 40
Thousands marched in angry protests in cities across Pakistan March 18 after a US drone attack one day earlier killed 41 people in North Waziristan. The government also condemned the attack, with army chief Ashwaq Perwez Kayani saying the strikes had "carelessly and callously targeted" a tribal jirga. Pakistan also pulled out of upcoming talks with the US on the war in Afghanistan. Six missiles were apparently fired at a house in Dattakhel village, some 40 kilometers west of Miramshah. Tribal leaders in North Waziristan issued a statement vowing revenge against the US: "We are a people who wait 100 years to exact revenge. We never forgive our enemy."
Protesters also expressed outrage that Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor accused of two murders, is to go free following a "blood money" agreement under which charges will be dropped in exchange for $2.3 million in financial compensation to the victims' families. (Zee News, BBC News, LAT, March 18; Daily Mail, AAJ News, March 17)