Scores of people, including at least 20 civilians were killed today as Pakistani warplanes launched a large number of air strikes against the Khyber and Orakzai Agencies, ostensibly aimed at targeting the Lashkar-e Islamic (LeI)
The LeI, one of an almost innumerable number of militant groups across the tribal areas, caught the Pakistani government’s ire when they attacked a NATO supply convoy. Pakistan also claimed the group was planning to launch suicide attacks in Peshawar.
NATO has been relying on the Khyber Agency as a route for supplies to its war in Afghanistan for years, and the route is becoming all the more important as flooding renders alternative routes through Pakistan impassable.
But the civilian toll of the attacks is likely to fuel even more resentment against both the Pakistani government and against the US-led war in Afghanistan, which precipitated the attack.
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