Pakistan: Protests over airstrike against al-Qaida

January 17, 2007 02:20


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Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked a suspected al-Qaida hide-out in forest near the Afghan border, killing up to 10 people and sparking anger among tribesmen who said the dead were woodcutters, not terrorists. The raid in South Waziristan on Tuesday came as US Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Afghanistan, and amid growing pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militants launching attacks across the frontier. Pakistan's army said intelligence sources confirmed the presence of 25 to 30 militants, including four or five unidentified al-Qaida terrorists, in five compounds in the area of Zamzola - a village about 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the frontier. Pakistani forces backed by Cobra gunships attacked them, destroying three of the compounds.

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