last updated 8/22 5:45 PM
8/20 – Shortly after 7:30 pm on Wednesday evening an attack leveled a home owned by Yaqub Mughal near South Waziristan’s capital of Wana. While casualty figures are still unclear, it appears that at least eight people were killed. The owner of the house was injured, but safely pulled from the rubble.
The BBC quoted a security official as saying it was a known militant hideout, while the AFP simply quoted a resident as saying “Arabs often stayed with him”, and a DPA report linked the owner of the house to tribal commander Mullah Nazir, whose house in nearby Baghar was the target of US spy drones last week. At the time the Pakistani army would officially only confirm an “explosion” in the area, though it was later confirmed by both them and NATO’s ISAF that it was multiple artillery rounds fired from a NATO base just across the Afghan border in the Paktika province.
This marks the first confirmed NATO strike in Pakistan since President Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation on Monday. Musharraf was quite permissive regarding foreign strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, which included a long-standing deal reported last month by the Washington Times which allowed CIA-operated drones to strike without prior permission any hideouts believed to belong to Osama bin Laden.
By contrast, Pakistani Prime Minister Raza Gilani has often warned the United States against unilateral strikes against targets in Pakistan, including a CNN interview in late July in which he said if it was proven that the United States was behind the attack which killed a top al-Qaeda commander it would be a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The DPA also quotes Afghan President Hamid Karzai as reiterating his previous call for NATO to focus its attacks on Taliban bases in neighboring countries.
compiled by Jason Ditz