Pakistan defends deadly attack on muslim school

November 2, 2006 03:08

Pakistan's military defended its deadly missile strike on an Islamic school, saying it was necessary to prevent terrorist trainees from escaping. Critics said the government used disproportionate force in the attack, which killed 80 people. Tribal elders said Monday's raid in the Bajur district near the Afghan border set back peace efforts in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region, and a prominent human rights group demanded an independent inquiry. Abdul Aziz Khan, head of Bajur's council of tribal chiefs, on Wednesday demanded a guarantee there would be no further attacks, saying, "without it we will not begin talks with the government." At stake is a deal to stamp out militancy like that reached in September with tribal chiefs in North Waziristan. Protests erupted for a third day in Bajur on Wednesday, with 10,000 tribesmen - including masked militants linked to al-Qaida - demanding the deaths of Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and President Bush.

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