Pakistan expresses grief over killing of two hostages in US drone strike

02:04 PM | 24 Apr, 2015
Pakistan expresses grief over killing of two hostages in US drone strike
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ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) - Pakistan on Friday has expressed grief and sorrow over the killing of two western hostages in the US drone strike in January this year.

In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said the people and Government of Pakistan convey their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

She said the death of hostages in the drone strike demonstrates the risk and unintended consequences of the use of this technology that Pakistan has been highlighting for a long time.

The Foreign Office statement came after the US confirmed last night that a US missile strike in January targeting an al Qaeda compound in Pakistan near the Afghan border inadvertently killed an American and an Italian who had been held hostage for years by the group.

President Barack Obama apologized and took "full responsibility" for all counterterrorism operations, including this one.

The deaths were a setback for the long-running U.S. missile strike program that has targeted militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and has often drawn criticism in those countries and from civil liberties groups in the United States.

Killed in the January missile strike were aid workers Warren Weinstein, an American held by al Qaeda since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian who went missing in Pakistan in 2012, as well as Ahmed Farouq, an American who was an al Qaeda leader, U.S. officials said.

Adam Gadahn, an American al Qaeda member who was charged with treason in the United States, was also killed in a separate strike on another al Qaeda camp five days later, the officials said.

Obama said he had ordered a full review of the matter to ensure such mistakes are not repeated.

"I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families," Obama told reporters at the White House.