In the latest in nine years of reports of major killings of insurgent forces inside Afghanistan, the Pentagon today reported that a series of attacks along the border have killed 110 people, all of whom are believed to be from the Haqqani Network faction in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency.
“Though we’ve had success in killing 110 of them, there clearly are more of them out there who remain a threat,” reported Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. It was unclear if the toll included the large number of people killed inside Pakistan in a flurry of cross-border attacks in recent weeks.
Those attacks would be the bulk of today’s reported slain if they are included, as a single attack on September 26 killed “more than 60” according to officials and the infamous September 30 attacks involved nearly a half hour of shelling in the tribal areas before the helicopters turned their missiles against Pakistani soldiers.
Morrell defended the cross border attacks, insisting that the US “retain the right” to launch such attacks in the future and that there are no plans to change the way in which aircraft operate along the border. Relations with Pakistan have been seriously damaged over the past week, with the government closing the Khyber border crossing to NATO traffic since the killings.