Army spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said the predawn attack today targeted a madrasah religious school compound in a village near Khar, in the Bajur tribal district.
"We had intelligence that a madrasah in the tribal region of Bajaur was being used for wrongdoing," he said. "According to our information, there were 70 to 80 militants in this madrasah who were training and learning terrorist tactics. We have been observing them for many days. When we confirmed the information that training for terrorist activities was going on there, our security forces responded with this attack today."
Sultan added that no prominent militants were believed to have been in the compound at the time of the attack.
(RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad in October 2005 (epa)
ACROSS A DIFFICULT BORDER. The contested border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is some 2,500 kilometers long and runs through some of the most rugged, inhospitable territory on Earth. Controlling that border and preventing Taliban militants from using Pakistan as a staging ground for attacks in Afghanistan is an essential part of the U.S.-led international coalition's strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan. Officials in Kabul have been pointing their fingers at Pakistan for some time, accusing Islamabad or intelligence services of turning a blind eye to cross-border terrorism targeting the Afghan central government. Many observers remain convinced that much of the former Taliban regime's leadership -- along with leaders of Al-Qaeda -- are operating in the lawless Afghan-Pakistani border region.... (more)