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Nov 17, 2012 4:29 PM by AP posted by Juice Godfrey

Pakistan racing to develop armed drones

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistan is secretly racing to develop its own armed drones, frustrated with U.S. refusals to provide the aircraft.

But it's struggling with a lack of precision munitions and advanced targeting technology.

China has offered to help by selling Pakistan armed drones it developed. But industry experts say there is still uncertainty about the capabilities of the Chinese aircraft.

Pakistan has asked the U.S. to provide it with armed drones, but Washington has refused because of the sensitive nature of the technology and doubts that Pakistan would reliably target U.S. enemies.

The development of unmanned combat aircraft is especially sensitive in Pakistan because of the widespread unpopularity of the hundreds of U.S. drone strikes against Taliban and al-Qaida militants in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government denounces the CIA strikes as a violation of the country's sovereignty. Pakistani officials also say the strikes kill many civilians and fuel anger that helps militants recruit additional fighters.

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