Last Updated 9/8 3:05 PM EST
This morning two US Predator Drones attacked a small village two miles north of Miramshah in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency, killing at least 23 and wounding 20 others. Ten of those killed were said by officials to be militants, although a previous official was quoted as saying “no foreign militant was killed” in the strike. At least four women and two children were reported among the dead and most of the wounded are also reported to be women and children.
The attack centered on a religious school founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a religious scholar and veteran commander of the US-backed mujahideen who fought against the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Haqqani is well-connected in both militant and government circles, having been accused of ties with both al-Qaeda and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence by US officials.
Haqqani has recently been accused of a role in the bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, and was also allegedly linked to an assassination attempt earlier this year against Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Incredibly enough, the United States attempted to install Haqqani as Prime Minister of Afghanistan, a position which he refused citing the number of Afghans killed in the 2001 invasion. Haqqani was reportedly in Afghanistan at the time of the attack.
The strike comes just days after an earlier US drone strike on another village not far from Miramshah, but on the Afghan side of the mountainous border, killed at least five civilians. It also comes less than a week after US ground troops killed 20 civilians in an attack on a village in South Waziristan, an action which led to widespread condemnation from Pakistan’s government and military, as well as anti-US protests among the tribesmen in the area. Pakistan’s government recently cut off supply lines to NATO troops in Afghanistan though there was some disagreement, even within the Pakistani government, whether this was in retaliation for last week’s South Waziristan attack. So far the only comment came from Pakistan’s military, who admitted the incident had occurred and said it was investigating the cause.
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