Pakistan: US airstrike targeted al-Qaida hideout

January 19, 2007 16:35


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Tribesmen from a Pakistani mountain village where an airstrike hit a suspected al-Qaida hideout this week on Friday claimed missiles were fired from an American plane and denied the dead were terrorists. Locals were still digging through the rubble of homes destroyed in the Tuesday airstrike on Zamzola village in South Waziristan, where Pakistan's army said its helicopter gunships killed eight suspected foreign militants. "This is a pack of lies," said Jalandhar Khan, 40, holding a shovel near the ruins of a neighbor's ruined house. "There was no al-Qaida man. Those killed or injured in this attack by America were innocent woodcutters." Reporters were taken to Zamzola, a remote village tucked in the forest about three kilometers (two miles) from the Afghan border, by supporters of Baitullah Mehsud, a local pro-Taliban militant leader, who has vowed to avenge the airstrike.

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