US drone strike kills 16 in Pakistan

“These strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry said in a statement. “Pakistan has repeatedly emphasized the importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes.”

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The drone strikes have been one of the major points of tension between the United States and Pakistan, who have had a rocky relationship over the past several years.

Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for an end to U.S. drone strikes last month as he took power. Wednesday’s attack would appear to the be the deadliest drone strike in Pakistan since Sharif became prime minister.

President Obama said in a May national security speech that he was tightening the rules on who could be targeted in the drone attacks. He defended the program itself, which is run by the CIA, saying that drones can target terrorists where U.S. forces cannot reach them.

NBC News reported that local residents said Wednesday’s strike “jolted the entire town.”

"I never heard such a huge drone strike before," local resident Nasrullah Khan said. "They simultaneously fired four huge missiles and jolted the entire town."

A Pakistani security official told NBC that the drone hit a structure “known for presence of militants.”