[R-G] Missile Attack, Possibly by NATO, Kills 8 in Pakistan
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Fri Feb 29 10:09:57 MST 2008
February 29, 2008
Missile Attack, Possibly by NATO, Kills 8 in Pakistan
By ISMAIL KHAN
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Eight suspected Islamic militants, including
four men of Middle Eastern origin and two from Central Asia, were
killed early Thursday in a triple missile attack on a house used as a
training facility in Pakistan’s tribal areas, a security official and
The missiles appeared to have been launched from territory controlled
by NATO forces across the border in Afghanistan, the second deadly
aerial strike in a month. Residents said three other occupants of the
house were wounded in the strike, in the village of Kalosha in South
Waziristan, one of the most restive tribal regions.
The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of
the nature of his job, said the dead had belonged to a little-known
group affiliated with Al Qaeda, working under the name Abu Hamza.
Local residents said they had heard three loud explosions about 2
a.m. that destroyed the house. They said the three wounded occupants
were from Turkmenistan.
They also said the house had belonged to Shero Wazir, an Ahmadzai
Wazir tribesman who had rented it to an unidentified man of Arab
nationality. They said they thought the launching site might have
been an American NATO base in Machi Dat, just across the border in
NATO officials in Afghanistan said they had no information about the
attack. But this would not be the first time American-led NATO forces
had launched missiles aimed at Qaeda and Taliban targets on the
A senior Qaeda commander, Abu Laith al-Libi, was reportedly killed by
a Predator missile in Mirali, North Waziristan, on Jan. 29. The
Pakistan government has yet to officially confirm his death.
An official of the political administration of the tribal areas
confirmed eight deaths in the Thursday attack, but did not identify
any victims by name. He said four Arabs, two Turkmens and two
Pakistani militants from Punjab Province had been killed, but others
said it was difficult to know precisely who died.
The security official said the bodies were charred beyond
recognition. They were buried at a graveyard in Kalosha. He said the
destroyed house had been used as a training facility.
A spokesman for Maulvi Nazir, a local militant commander, denied that
Arabs or Turkmens were killed in the attack, asserting instead that
Afghans had died.
“They were common Afghans and have been living in the area for the
last few years,” the spokesman said.
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