Skip to comments.Pakistan missile strike kills 12 in new violence
Posted on 01/29/2008 7:45:06 AM PST by Dog
MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) Twelve suspected militants were killed by a missile strike in Pakistan's troubled tribal belt, hours after gunmen held 300 children hostage at a nearby school, officials said Tuesday.
Separately a Pakistani soldier was killed and five others injured in the latest clashes between security forces and Islamist insurgents in the lawless borderlands with Afghanistan, the army said.
The missile hit a house on Monday night in the North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, where thousands of Pakistani troops are battling Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked fighters.
Intelligence officials said the dead were pro-Taliban militants, but residents said they were tribesmen staying at the house of a local elder in Khushali Tari Khel, a village on the outskirts of the town of Mir Ali.
"A missile came from an unknown direction on Monday night and hit the house, after which 12 people have died," a local administration official told AFP.
The Pakistani army was not immediately available for comment.
"The identities of the dead are not ascertained but we had reports that suspected them of being linked to the Taliban," an intelligence official said.
It was not clear who fired the missile but several previous attacks in the area have been attributed to US-led coalition forces across the border in Afghanistan.
Islamabad is loath to admit any US military action on its territory, given that President Pervez Musharraf has repeatedly rejected US offers for joint operations in Pakistan's troubled borderlands.
Washington and other western allies are increasingly concerned by unrest and extremist violence in Pakistan following the assassination last month of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
Musharraf said during a visit to London on Monday that a tough stance on extremism was necessary because of incidents like the mass hostage-taking at a school near the northwestern city of Bannu that same day.
The incident ended peacefully late Monday when the gunmen released their captives from the school and fled into North Waziristan, the border of which is only about five kilometres (three miles) away.
Officials did not say if there was any connection between the missile strike and the school siege.
Missile attacks have claimed the lives of several militants in Pakistan. A US Predator drone targeted Al-Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in January 2006, killing several rebels but missing him.
In December 2005, Egyptian Al-Qaeda explosives specialist Hamza Rabia was killed in a blast in North Waziristan. Residents said it was a missile strike but the military insisted he was killed by one of his own bombs.
Meanwhile in the neighbouring tribal region of South Waziristan, the army said a soldier was killed in heavy fighting at Shishamwan village early Tuesday.
Militant casualties "could not be ascertained," an army statement said.
Clashes in the same region on Monday also claimed the life of a soldier.
South Waziristan is the stronghold of shadowy tribal warlord Baitullah Mehsud, who has been accused by Pakistan and the US Central Intelligence Agency of masterminding Bhutto's assassination on December 27.
He denies any involvement.
Officials also said that five soldiers were wounded in rocket attacks in North Waziristan overnight.
I vote it came from underground.
It sounds to me that the US may have shot a missile.
Here is the only known photo of it.
It is not going away. Might even end up in flying nukes.
While Musharaff has helped a good amount in the fight, he's walking a razor edge with enemies of his own inside Pakistan. Anything that looks like Musharraf is "allowing" the U.S. to operate inside Pakistan's border is something his own islamic militants can use to turn more popular support away from M and toward them. He's looking at a potential civil war, and we'd rather not cause it. If we lose him in Pakistan, it is unlikely that whoever replaces him would be friendly to the U.S. ~at all~.
So, we're not going to overtly act inside Pakistan, but of course there's been much speculation that we are doing some black ops in there looking for Al Queda. The AQ thugs have been using Pakistan as a sort of "safe house" that they run into, while they re-supply and conduct ops in Afghanistan.
This missile is a somewhat harder to hide operation, if indeed it was us. Which it probably was. So... it's a signal that we really, really wanted that target to blow up. But its a risk, too.
Twelve suspected militants were killed by a missile strike in Pakistan's troubled tribal belt, hours after gunmen held 300 children hostage at a nearby school, officials said Tuesday.
Anybody who believe this is somehow a legitimate action is a terrorist puke that deserves to be blown to smithereens.
Interesting and admittedly dicey developments, thanks for posting this.
Thank you, Ramius.
Your words have helped me better understand the situation. It’s a dangerous world we live in today.
It's not like these are lone masterminds like Carlos the Jackal or a handful of individual cell members from the Bader-Meinhof Gang or JRA.
If Islamoids like Bin Laden & Co. have 4-5 wives and dozens of children in their retinue, shouldn't it be pretty easy to track them down?
Yup, but you don’t really want to give ANYONE the chance to do a world-wide photo spread on a bunch of dead women and kids.
We get enough photoshopped phony attempts to slander our military as it is.
If we got OBL, and the MSM could prove that an innocent civilian in the area even felt badly about it, let alone actually was injured, we’d probably have done ourselves less damage in so-called world opinion if we’d passed on the shot.
Same sh**, different day.
I don't know if it would matter that much.
Didn't the IAF nail 20-30 people when they took out Saleh Shahada in 2002, including his ninja-accoutered wife?
To me it seems irrelevant, because I doubt that you'll ever be able to kill Bin Laden without doing some collateral damage.
I don't think he's hot-footin by his lonesome, a la Saddam Hussein.
Must have tracked them back home. You can run but you can't hide.
Pakistan army troops patrol in Miran Shah, capital of North Waziristan, Pakistan's tribal area along the Afghanistan on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008. A missile destroyed a suspected militant hideout in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 12 people inside, officials said, as hundreds of students protested Pakistan's support for the U.S.-led war on terror. (AP Photo/Abdullah Noor)
“A missile came from an unknown direction, it was not clear who fired the missile”
Must have been God’s will....