Islamabad, April 24: Islamabad on Friday said it was shocked over the killing of two Western hostages — kidpped by the Al Qaeda in Pakistan — in a US drone strike in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. “The news of the accidental killing of two Western hostages — Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto — in the US drone strike conducted in January this year has been received in Pakistan with shock and sorrow,” a foreign office statement here said. The statement added that the deaths of the hostages in a drone strike demonstrate the risk and unintended consequences of the use of this technology that Pakistan has been highlighting for a long time.
Having lost thousands of innocent civilians in the war against terrorism, Pakistan said it could fully understand this tragic loss and stood with the families of Weinstein and Lo Porto in this difficult time. “The people and the government of Pakistan convey their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” the statement said. Al Qaeda Indian sub-continent branch said this week that 50 of its members, including two senior commanders, have been killed in the American drone strikes over the past few months.
The White House said American Warren Weinstein, held by Al Qaeda since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian tiol held by the Al Qaeda since 2012, were killed in a January operation in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The operation targeted an Al Qaeda-associated compound and there was no reason to believe either hostage was present at the location, the White House said on Thursday. US President Barrack Obama took “full responsibility” for the deaths of the hostages and expressed “deepest apologies” to the families of the two hostages in a televised address on Thursday. (IANS)