The Pakistan Daily Times & Dera Ismail Khan / The Guardian & Ishtiaq Mahsud / Associated Press – 2008-11-01 10:26:47
North Waziristan Strike Kills Abu Akasha, Mullah Nazir injured in SWA
The Daily Times (Pakistan)
ISLAMABAD/MIRANSHAH (November 1, 2008) — Suspected US missiles struck two deadly blows, killing 32 mainly Al Qaeda terrorists and injuring a key Taliban commander in North and South Waziristan agencies on Friday.
Two missiles hit a pick-up truck and a house west of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, killing 20 mainly Arab fighters, officials said.Security officials said Abu Akash al-Iraqi, an ageing Al Qaeda leader, was suspected killed in the attack. He was living in the house rented from a local, Amanullah.
Two further missiles fired by a suspected US drone at a hideout near Wana in South Waziristan killed 12 suspected Taliban soon after, a senior security official said. Officials said top Taliban commander Mullah Nazir was also wounded in the strike. afp/haji mujtaba
Suspected US Missile Strikes Kill 27 in Pakistan
Dera Ismail Khan / The Guardian and agencies
(November 1, 2008) — Missiles exploded in two villages in north-west Pakistan yesterday, killing 27 people including foreign fighters, in the latest in a surge of alleged American strikes, intelligence officials said. One raid was said to aim at an Arab militant identified as Abu Kasha Iraqi, but if was unclear if he was killed, officials said on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Suspected US drone planes have fired at alleged militant targets in Pakistan at least 17 times since mid-August. The increased frequency of the strikes has badly strained America’s alliance with Pakistan, where rising violence is exacerbating economic problems and threatening stability.
Scores of foreign al-Qaida members are believed to be hiding out in Pakistan’s lawless border area with Afghanistan. The area is also considered the likely hiding place of Osama bin Laden.
The US rarely confirms or denies firing the missiles and the identities of those killed are rarely made public. Locals frequently say civilians, sometimes women and children, are among the dead.
The first of yesterday’s attacks took place in Mir Ali village in North Waziristan after drones had been flying overhead for several hours, the intelligence officials said, citing reports from agents and informers in the area. The drones fired twice, hitting the house frequented by Kasha Iraqi and a nearby car, killing 20 people.
Two hours later, a second set of missiles hit a village in South Waziristan, killing seven people, including an unspecified number of foreign fighters, the officials added.
US drones have made around 15 such missile attacks on militant targets in lawless tribal areas on the Pakistani side of the border since the start of September. American forces also launched a cross-border raid in the same month.
Scores of people have been killed but no senior al-Qaida or Taliban leaders have been reported to have died.
The latest attacks came two days after Pakistan summoned the US ambassador to protest against missile strikes and demand that they be stopped immediately.
Pakistan is battling militants on its side of the border but says the US strikes undermine efforts to isolate the militants and rally Pakistani public opinion behind the unpopular campaign against militancy.
A senior security official said Abu Akash’s real name was believed to be Abdur Rehman, although he was known to have used many aliases. He was known as Akash Khan in Mir Ali.
“He is an al-Qaida man but was not among the top hierarchy,” said the security official.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008
Missile Strikes Kill 27 in Pakistan
Intelligence Officials Say US Forces Are Responsible for Attacks on Militants
Ishtiaq Mahsud / Associated Press
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, PAKISTAN (November 1, 2008) — Suspected US missiles slammed into two villages close to the Afghan border Friday, killing 27 people including an Arab al-Qaida operative and other foreign militants, intelligence officials said.
The new strikes raised the number of such attacks to at least 17 since August. The surge has angered many Pakistanis and put strains on a seven-year US alliance with Pakistan.
The apparent attacks by unmanned planes come amid Washington’s frustration at what US officials say is Pakistan’s failure to curb Islamic extremists blamed for attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan — and suspected of planning 9/11-style strikes in the West.
Dozens of foreign al-Qaida members, including Osama bin Laden, are believed to be hiding in northwestern Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas along the Afghan frontier.
The United States rarely confirms or denies attacking suspected militant hideouts inside Pakistan and the identities of those killed are only occasionally made public. Residents frequently say that civilians, sometimes women and children, are among the dead.
The al-Qaida member reportedly killed Friday was identified as Abu Kasha Iraqi, the intelligence officials said. He had been living in Pakistan’s tribal region for about three years and had been organizing attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan, they said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The purported al-Qaida figure was among 20 people killed when two missiles hit a house and a car in Mir Ali village in North Waziristan. About two hours later, two more missiles hit a village in South Waziristan, killing seven people, including a number of foreign extremists, officials said.
Pakistan’s government says the strikes — plus a highly unusual ground raid by US commandos in September — violate its sovereignty.
In a sign of the resilience of the extremists, a suicide bomber earlier Friday attacked a police chief outside his house in the northwestern city of Mardan, missing the official but killing three other officers and five civilians, authorities said.
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