Pakistani police officer chases a mob 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Suspected US missiles killed 10 people in a insurgent-controlled region close to the Afghan border Sunday, the first such strike since an alleged Pakistani-trained extremist was accused of a failed Times Square attack.
Last week's attempted car bombing in New York City has added to pressure on Pakistan to crack down on al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists who have long had safe havens along the Afghan border. Top US officials said Sunday they believe the Pakistani Taliban directed the plot.
Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistan-American suspect, has allegedly told investigators he received explosives training in the lawless Waziristan area. Al-Qaida leaders and jihadis from all over the world congregate in the region, as well as members of the Pakistani Taliban.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington expects more cooperation from Pakistan in fighting terrorism and warned of "severe consequences" if an attack on US soil were traced back to the South Asian country.
Her comments mark something of a change in America's public stance toward Pakistan, which in recent months has been characterized by praise, not criticism. She made the remarks in an interview with CBS television's "60 Minutes" that were to be broadcast later Sunday.US attorney-general: Pakistani Taliban 'intimately involved' in botched
US Attorney General Eric Holder told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the Pakistani Taliban was "intimately involved" in the failed Times Square bombing. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said the finding "underscores the serious threat that we face from a very determined enemy."
The missile strikes Sunday were in North Waziristan, which has been the target of nearly all of the some 30 other American attacks this year.
Two Pakistani intelligence officials said the two missiles hit the house of local tribesman Awal Gul in Enzer Kasa village of the Datta Khel area. Ten people were killed, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.
Nine of those killed by the strike were insurgents, said a senior army official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
It was not immediately clear whether Gul had any ties to militant groups.
Pakistan, a key US ally, officially protests the strikes on its territory as violations of its sovereignty, but it is believed to aid them. The US rarely discusses the unmanned-drone-fired strikes, which are part of a covert CIA program.
In recent months, North Waziristan has become a new haven for Pakistani Taliban leaders who have fled a Pakistani army offensive in their previous stronghold, neighboring South Waziristan.
The Pakistani Taliban, while linked to the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida, have primarily directed their attacks at targets inside Pakistan, making that militant group a priority for the country's army. Involvement in the Times Square plot would represent a significant show of strength for the organization, which has never attacked outside South Asia.
Despite US pressure, the Pakistani army has held off on waging an
offensive against other militant networks based in North Waziristan
because it does not want to antagonize powerful insurgent groups there
that have so far attacked only targets in Afghanistan.
morning, Pakistani army helicopters pounded insurgent hide-outs in the
Orakzai tribal region, killing 23 militants, local official Jahanzeb
Pakistan security forces are carrying out an operation
against insurgents who escaped the military offensive in South
Waziristan. Some have taken refuge in the Orakzai tribal region, which
lies next to North Waziristan, and other neighboring tribal areas.