Editorial Note: The
following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also
include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology.
Comments are in parentheses.
20 Anti-US fighters killed in South Waziristan missile
20 killed in S Waziristan missile
strike, Foreigners among dead
By Irfan Barki & Akhtar Shehzad
A cross-border missile attack on the house of a
tribal elder left 20 people dead and five others injured in Pir Bagh
area of Kot Shah Nawaz, south of the agency headquarters, Wana, in the
restive South Waziristan Agency (SWA) on Sunday.
The six missiles landed in and around the house of
Noorullah Wazir, eyewitnesses said. The attack claimed 20 lives,
including a few foreigners, whose identity could not be ascertained. The
incident that took place at around 3.30 pm completely destroyed the
Official and tribal sources claimed that the attack was carried out from
across the border and aimed at an alleged militantsí hideout, the
authenticity of which was established after the killing of some
foreigners in the attack.
Top military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas told The News that
around six explosions were heard in the area but said, at the moment, he
could not confirm if it was a missile attack or the number of casualties
in the incident. He said a fact-finding team had been sent to the area
to probe into the incident.
However, private TV channels, quoting some unidentified eyewitnesses,
reported that the attack was carried out by a
drone. It is worth mentioning here
that militants in South Waziristan are led by a pro-government commander
Maulvi Nazir, who played a major role in expelling the Uzbek militants
from the tribal agency. Under his command, the area remained peaceful
since November 16, when he announced a unilateral ceasefire with the
He was reciprocated and no tussle has been witnessed in the agency since
then, but at the same time attacks from across the border have been
causing unrest from time-to-time. Twelve people were killed in a similar
pre-dawn attack on a house in Kaloosha village in SWA on February 29
Senior government functionaries based in Wana as well as sources among
the militants having links with Arab fighters had
confirmed to The News that majority of those killed in the
attack were Arabs,
Afghans and (fighters) from the (Pakistani)
While the militants claimed a pilotless spy plane had fired three
missiles on the house, which also caused damage to three adjacent
houses, DG ISPR Maj-Gen Athar Abbas had claimed that the blast was
caused by explosives dumped in the house. He had ruled out the
possibility of an attack by any foreign aircraft.
The February 19 incident was the second attack of its kind in the area
inhabited by Ahmadzai Wazir tribe in South Waziristan. In 2004,
militant commander Nek Muhammad, along with five other tribesmen, was
killed in a similar air strike reportedly carried out by a
CIA-operated Predator aircraft.
Local militants had admitted that the place was used as a training
facility and was frequently visited by the Arab fighters and Mujahideen
from the Islamic countries. He felt it was possible that their
opponents, possibly Afghan refugees living in the area but having
affiliation with the Americans and the Northern Alliance, had passed on
information about their activities.
Militants believed that the Arab fighters were the main target of such
missile attacks as they used to visit the place frequently and had
recently attended crucial meetings. It may be recalled that senior
al-Qaeda commander Abu Laith al-Libbi was killed in a similar
attack on a house in Khushali Tori Khel village of Mirali town
in the North Waziristan Agency on January 29. However, American and
Pakistani officials are still tight-lipped about the incident and have
not officially confirmed Al-Libbi's killing.
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