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Pakistan Launches Air Strike In South Waziristan

(RFE/RL) January 16, 2007 -- The Pakistan Army has launched a strike on a militant camp in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

Pakistani military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said the army carried out the operation in the South Waziristan tribal region after receiving confirmed intelligence reports that 25-30 suspected Al-Qaeda operatives were hiding there.

Sultan could not give an exact casualty figure, but he said he believed all the suspected terrorists were killed.

"This morning around 6:55 a.m. Pakistan security forces carried out a precision strike in which the gunship helicopters also participated," Sultan said. "And out of a complex of five compounds, we have successfully destroyed three compounds. And all the terrorists present in those three compounds are believed to have been killed."

The raid in South Waziristan came days after the U.S. intelligence chief said leaders of both Al-Qaeda and Afghanistan's former ruling Taliban militia were finding shelter in Pakistan's lawless frontier areas.

(Reuters, AP)

Afghanistan And Pakistan

Afghanistan And Pakistan

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)


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