Last night we reported a story, also run in Pakistan’s media, which cited an air-strike by a US drone which killed at least six people. The strike reportedly occurred on the outskirts of Miramshah, a small town in North Waziristan just a few miles from the Afghanistan border. While that is essentially correct, there was an important detail that emerged only this morning: the strike hit the village of Al Must, which though quite close to Miramshah is actually on the Afghan side of the border. A Pakistani Army spokesman confirmed that none of the missiles landed in Pakistani territory.
Rather, according to residents, three missiles hit two residential compounds in the small Afghan border village, killing somewhere between six and 12 people. It was suggested that some of those killed were Arabs, and that they may have been renting living space in the homes, a common practice in the region.
But also among the dead were two women and three children, so we can conclude that at a minimum five civilians were slain in the attack. There has as yet been no official comment from the Afghan government regarding the incident, but President Hamid Karzai has been harshly critical of US-inflicted civilian casualties in the wake of a massive strike in Herat which killed 90 civilians, and he warned yesterday that the civilians deaths were straining relations with the foreign forces operating in the country.