Kirk defends use of drone attacks in Pakistan

March 19, 2011

by The Associated Press and City Room

Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is defending the use of drone strikes in Pakistan.

Pakistan reported a U.S. drone attack on Thursday killed about 36 people, who were mostly civilians. After the strike, Pakistan said it would not participate in tri-lateral talks with the United States and Afghanistan.

Kirk said drones are very effective.

"These drone strikes are, I think, a delicate dance between the United States and the Pakistani military," Kirk said. "I think any Pakistani politician that says that the government didn't approve these is misleading the public."

Kirk says the attack was part of the fight against the Taliban. A U.S. official familiar with details told The Associated Press that innocent people were not targeted.