The Pakistani government has strongly condemned a pair of U.S. drone missile strikes that killed six suspected militants Wednesday in a tribal region along the Afghan border.
Speaking to parliament hours after the strikes, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the U.S. attacks are turning Pakistanis away from their government and uniting them with militants.
In a statement, the Pakistani foreign ministry said it had lodged a complaint with the U.S. embassy, reiterating its stance that such attacks are counterproductive and strengthen the militants.
The strikes, which hit vehicles in South Waziristan, come just days after CIA chief Leon Panetta met with his Pakistani counterpart General Ahmed Shuja Pasha in Washington.
The spy agencies of the two countries are suspected of working together on the drone strikes, with Pakistan providing intelligence on potential targets. Publicly, however, Pakistani government officials denounce the attacks as a violation of the country's sovereignty, and Washington refuses to comment on them.
Wednesday's strikes also were the first reported drone attacks since a controversial attack on March 17 killed up to 40 people.
Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, strongly condemned the March incident, underscoring recent tension between Pakistan and the United States.
Kayani has also asked the United States to stop the drone strikes altogether, saying they have gotten out of control.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.