Officials express outrage over U.S. drone strike

The U.S. drone strike that killed the head of the Pakistani Taliban drew expressions of outrage from political officials here Saturday, capped by a public rebuke of the Obama administration.

A day after three missiles were fired into a vehicle in northwestern Pakistan, senior Taliban members confirmed Saturday that Hakimullah Mehsud and four others had been killed in the attack, a major victory in the decade-old U.S. campaign targeting Islamist militants. But after they had buried their former chief, Pakistani Taliban leaders began to regroup, vowing retaliatory strikes against U.S. interests.

With security heightened across Pakistan, the sharpest effect so far has been the derailment, at least temporarily, of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to engage Mehsud and other Taliban leaders in peace talks. In an angry, hour-long, televised press conference Saturday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan accused the United States of “ambushing” the Sharif government’s efforts by authorizing the strike.

“The government of Pakistan does not see the drone attack as an attack on an individual, but as an attack on the peace process,” he said.

After Khan spoke, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry lodged a formal protest with U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson, saying the attack had violated Pakistan’s sovereignty


TV station takes heat when it blocks satirist’s program

A private Egyptian TV station came under fire from public figures and fans of a widely popular satirist Saturday after it blocked the airing of his weekly show critical of the military and the country’s recent nationalist fervor.

Minutes before the program of Bassem Youssef, often compared to U.S. comedian Jon Stewart, was to air Friday, broadcaster CBC said it was suspending it because the satirist and his producer violated editorial policy.

The channel’s decision appeared to be a reaction to the sharp criticism Youssef came under by supporters of the army after his first episode following a four-month hiatus.


Nine die in bread-line dispute between families

Security officials in Egypt say a fight between two families sparked by a dispute in a line to buy bread has killed nine people.

The officials said Saturday the feud began a month earlier in a town in the southern governorate of Assiut when a member of the Shaibaa tribe was killed in a fight over who was first in line to buy bread. Four members of the rival family were charged over the killing.

After a court hearing Saturday, officials say members of the Shaibaa pursued the defendants’ relatives, killing two and their driver. The officials say the bereaved relatives then went to the house of the Shaibaa and killed six.

Revenge killings are common in southern Egypt.


Two West Point graduates first to marry at academy

Two graduates of West Point are the first men to marry each other at the military academy.

Larry Choate III married Daniel Lennox Saturday afternoon at the U.S. Military Academy’s Cadet Chapel.

– From news service reports

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