Suspected US Missiles Kill 8 in Pakistan Air Strike

Missiles fired by remotely piloted American aircraft slammed into a Pakistani village near the Afghan border on Thursday, killing at least eight people in an attack that appeared aimed at a prominent Taliban commander, residents and a militant fighter said.

The dead were all militant fighters, according to residents of the village of Dande Darpakhel. But the missiles did not strike a compound in the village owned by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a Taliban operator with close links to Al Qaeda and an associate of Osama bin Laden. Mr. Haqqani was the presumed target of the attack.

The United States has accused Mr. Haqqani of organizing some of the most serious recent attacks in Afghanistan against American and NATO forces and of masterminding a failed assassination attempt against the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.

Since September, American-led forces in Afghanistan have frequently struck targets in the region with missiles and, on at least one occasion, with commandos, trying to stem cross-border attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The residents and the militant fighter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not wish to be identified by the authorities, said the aircraft fired four missiles at 1:15 a.m. They said the missiles struck a madrassa and compound owned by Pir Mohammad Roohani, who was in Afghanistan at the time of the attack. One missile hit a room in the compound where the militants were sleeping, the residents said.

The strike happened in the lawless North Waziristan area along the border with Afghanistan, close to its administrative center, Miranshah.

via NYTMissiles Kill 8 in Pakistan Airstrike


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