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GEHFileBot
02-19-2006, 10:49 PM
This is a discussion thread for the following file:<br><br><b><a href=http://www.googleearthhacks.com/dlfile13922/-Pakistan-raid-targets-al-Qaeda.htm> Pakistan raid targets al-Qaeda</a></b><br><br>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4608784.stm<br />
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BBC NEWS Saturday, 14 January 2006, 10:49 GMT<br />
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Pakistan is investigating an apparent missile strike on a village near the Afghan border which is reported to have targeted the deputy leader of al-Qaeda.<br />
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At least 18 people were killed in the raid but it remains unclear if Ayman al-Zawahiri was among them.<br />
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The Pakistani information minister said he was unable to confirm the attack.<br />
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Quoting intelligence sources, US media said it was a CIA raid. The US military says it is not aware of any operations taking place in the Bajaur tribal area.<br />
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The BBC's Zaffar Abbas in Karachi says tribesmen there are convinced the strike was the work of the Americans and are very angry at the cross-border attack.<br />
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Jets reportedly fired missiles at a particular housing compound in the village, which may have been an al-Qaeda hideout, our correspondent says.<br />
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Some accounts say foreigners were killed in the attack, and their bodies removed.<br />
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Zawahiri, seen as Osama Bin Laden's second-in-command, has eluded capture since the US toppled the Taleban in Afghanistan in 2001 despite a $25m bounty on his head.<br />
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He has recently come to be regarded by the US as the operational head of al-Qaeda because Bin Laden is not in a position to run the network, our correspondent adds.<br />
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'Still investigating'<br />
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US television networks, quoting Pakistani military sources, say five of those killed in the strike are thought to be senior al-Qaeda members.<br />
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Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid told reporters the authorities were still investigating the reports and he could confirm nothing. <br />
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Major General Shaukat Sultan, spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf, was also unable to say whether Zawahiri had been targeted.<br />
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He said: &quot;We are investigating and as of now we are not in a position to say yes or no.&quot;<br />
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Associated Press news agency later quoted two separate officials, unnamed, as saying that Zawahiri had not been killed in the attack.<br />
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The US Defence Department has denied its forces carried out any attacks in the area.<br />
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&quot;There is no reason to believe the US military is conducting operations there,&quot; Lt Col Todd Vician told AFP news agency.<br />
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US television network NBC quoted Pakistani sources as saying the strikes were probably carried out by unmanned CIA Predator drones, which fired up to 10 missiles.<br />
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'Children killed'<br />
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The raid took place in the village of Damadola in the Bajaur tribal area, about 200km (125 miles) north-west of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.<br />
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The village is about 7km (4.5 miles) inside Pakistan.<br />
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Locals earlier claimed the missiles were launched from neighbouring Afghanistan in the early hours of Friday, but officials there deny it. <br />
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Last weekend, Pakistan protested after eight died in nearby Waziristan in what it said was cross-border firing.<br />
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Afghan and US-led coalition forces believe Taleban-led militants take advantage of the porous border.<br />
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Reporters who reached Damadola spoke of three houses hundreds of metres apart that had been destroyed.<br />
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Shah Zaman said he lost two of his sons and a daughter. &quot;I ran out and saw planes. I ran toward a nearby mountain with my wife. When we were running we heard three more explosions. I saw my home being hit.<br />
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&quot;I don't know who carried out this attack and why. We were needlessly attacked. We are law-abiding people.&quot;<br />
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A Pakistani intelligence official told Reuters news agency that Damadola was the stronghold of a banned pro-Taleban group, the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi.<br />
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The US has about 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, but Pakistan does not allow them to operate across the border.<br />
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Pakistan has about 70,000 troops in the border region.<br />
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4612400.stm<br />
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BBC NEWS Saturday, 14 January 2006, 11:34 GMT <br />
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Zawahiri 'not hit by US missile'<br />
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The deputy leader of al-Qaeda was not in a Pakistani village near the Afghan border which was hit by in an apparent missile attack, Pakistan officials say.<br />
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The unnamed officials said the attack - in which at least 18 people were killed - was based on &quot;false information&quot;.<br />
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Quoting intelligence sources, US media said it was a CIA raid. The US military says it is not aware of any operations taking place in the Bajaur tribal area.<br />
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Zawahiri has eluded capture since 2001 despite a $25m bounty on his head.<br><br><img src=http://www.googleearthhacks.com/images/new/080505/594225Clipboard02.jpg>