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__Kratos__

Pakistan official: US strike killed militants

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__Kratos__

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Last Friday's U.S. airstrike on a Pakistani border village, which U.S. officials said was aimed at al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri, killed at least four foreign militants, a senior provincial official said on Tuesday.

Eighteen local people were killed in the attack, as well as the foreign militants, and Pakistan has lodged a protest with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker over the attack and loss of life.

Pakistani officials say Zawahri was not present in Damadola village early on Friday when missiles fired by CIA-operated drone aircraft struck three houses.

But Fahim Wazir, Political Agent for the semi-autonomous Bajaur tribal agency, issued a statement saying: "According to the available information at least four to five foreign elements had also been killed in the incident."

The bodies of the militants killed by the missiles were taken away by their comrades "to suppress the actual reason for the attack," he said in the statement released in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province.

At least 10 to 12 foreign militants had been invited to a feast in Damadola by two Muslim clerics, Maulana Faqir Mohammad and Maulana Liaqat, said Wazir, the top federal government officer in the tribal agency.

The CIA had been hoping Zawahri was among the dead, but Pakistani intelligence officers say the Egyptian-born deputy to Osama bin Laden had not turned up for the feast, although he had been invited.

Source

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Glad to see some terrorists where taken out.

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Super Pancake

I don't know 18 people had to die to kill 4 militants.

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__Kratos__

I don't know 18 people had to die to kill 4 militants.

The infomation that Pakistan gave the US (which they now deny) and what the US had said the no. 2 guy would be there with others for dinner.

It is always bad to see loss of innocent life, but it was what had to be done.

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Fluffybunny

I don't know 18 people had to die to kill 4 militants.

It is sad that 14 people had to die(although it is hard to confirm how many of those 14 were a part of the militant faction, during Desert Storm iraqis would claimed that building that were struck were baby milk factories and old folks homes when that was not the case.), but if 14 civilian deaths are needed to kill the right 4 militants that will slow the bombings on the streets in iraq(killing dozens or hundreds on a regular basis), then it would unfortuantely be worth it in my opinion.

There are several people in the top ranks of the militants that have the connections and resources to put large scale attacks together; removing them from the picture helps slow those attacks down.

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Bone_Collector

How can one ever be sure? How can you possibly hope to select and kill militants through air strikes, unless you absolutely don't care about the loss of innocent lives. A bomb doesn't ask before it strikes, why couldn't US take pakistan's help to capture these militants and verfy if their information was accurate? :angry:

Edited by Bone_Collector

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__Kratos__

How can one ever be sure? How can you possibly hope to select and kill militants through air strikes, unless you absolutely don't care about the loss of innocent lives. A bomb doesn't ask befotre it strikes, why couldn't US take pakistan's help and capture these militants and verfy if their information was accurate? :angry:

Time, troop movements, bureaucracy and worth of said target.

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__Kratos__

Source: Some killed in airstrike had links to al-Zawahiri

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Some of the foreigners killed in last Friday's U.S. airstrike in the remote Pakistani village of Damadola were of Egyptian origin, according to a knowledgeable source.

U.S. officials have said "very solid" intelligence indicated that senior al Qaeda members were expected to attend a dinner celebrating the end of the Muslim holiday of Eid and that Osama Bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, could very well be among them.

Although these officials believe a number of "significant" al Qaeda figures were killed in the attack, there is no evidence so far that al-Zawahiri was among them. Pakistani officials have said he apparently was not there.

The knowledgeable source -- who declined to be identified more specifically -- on Tuesday was not clear how many foreigners were killed by the airstrike, but said, "certainly some of them were of Egyptian origin," and had direct ties with al-Zawahiri.

A Pakistani provincial official said Tuesday that "four or five" foreign fighters were killed in the strike.

Fahim Wazir, political agent for the semi-autonomous Bajour tribal agency, said that determination was based on information gathered by investigators, but he would not elaborate.

In addition to the militants, 18 local residents also were killed, setting off anti-American protests across Pakistan.

Wazir said two Muslim clerics had invited 10 to 12 foreign militants to the dinner.

U.S. sources have told CNN that the remains of about 12 bodies, including as many as eight foreigners, were quickly retrieved by a group of men after the airstrike, and taken elsewhere for burial.

Pakistani officials said among the 18 civilians killed in the attack were five children, five women and eight men.

But there have been conflicting accounts from Pakistani officials and witnesses over who, if anyone, reclaimed bodies from the scene of the missile strike.

Damadola residents claim all the victims were locals and they buried them all. One Pakistani official told The Associated Press on Saturday that the bodies had been taken away for DNA tests, although it was not clear by whom.

The Bush administration, meanwhile, called Pakistan a valued ally in the war on terror Tuesday and pledged to continue pursuing al Qaeda leaders amid concerns the airstrike has strained ties between the two countries and could provoke more anti-American sentiment, The Associated Press reports.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan refused to discuss the attack on Tuesday but said "al Qaeda continues to seek to do harm to the American people."

"There are leaders that we continue to pursue and we will bring them to justice. The American people expect us to do so and that's what this president is committed to doing," he told reporters in Washington.

The attack has become an embarrassment for Islamabad, a staunch U.S. ally in the war on terrorism. Many in this nation of 150 million people oppose the government's backing of the United States in the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Frustration has been growing over a recent series of suspected U.S. attacks along the porous and ill-defined frontier aimed at militants. Washington has 20,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, but Pakistan says it does not allow them to hunt down or attack militants across the border.

Thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets over the weekend, chanting "Death to America" and calling for the resignation of military leader President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

The attack also has undermined the fragile goodwill cultivated in Pakistan by generous U.S. relief in the wake of October's earthquake that killed more than 80,000 people.

Source

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Bone_Collector

Time, troop movements, bureaucracy and worth of said target.

14 lives are surely worth any effort. While I agree that it is unfortunate that some innocent people should lose their lives in an attempt to stop terrorists, I still think it is the sheer arrogance of US which makes it think that it can bomb any country at will, without coordinating or even consulting the country in question. A country like pakistan cannot obviously tick off a giant like US by making this a big issue and lose out on the financial aid that they get from them. A stronger country would've shown a more appropriate reaction. :hmm:

Edited by Bone_Collector

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Super Pancake

Its 18 innocence not 14.

Edited by Super Pancake

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Fluffybunny

Its 18 innocence not 14.

I may have missed something, but it appears that 4 of the 18 had ties to the militants that were targets, so in my opinion I do not think that they would qualify as innocent.

On a related note, I heard an interview on PBS last night in which it was made clear that Musharif was in contact with bush regarding the strike and was aware what was going on beforehand. I don't know if that was the case, or if anyone objected to the strike on the pakistan side when they were informed.

It is a touchy subject to lob weapons into other countries, it doesn't appear that it happened without people knowing beforehand.

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Super Pancake

I may have missed something

Eighteen local people were killed in the attack, as well as the foreign militants, and Pakistan has lodged a protest with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker over the attack and loss of life.

In addition to the militants, 18 local residents also were killed, setting off anti-American protests across Pakistan.

yeah i've been watching the news too it does appear Pakistan did know about it, Maybe they are acting like they did not know because they did not expect most of the people in the part/meeting to be civilians

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bathory

were those 14 really all that innocent? playing host to al queda fighters in an area that is sympathetic to their cause?

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