Friday, September 5, 2008

U.S. Missile Strike Kills 6 in Afghanistan

Is this part of the "slow win," general?

"6 Reported Dead in U.S. Afghan Strike" by Pir Zubair Shah and Jane Perlez

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A missile strike from a pilotless United States reconnaissance aircraft killed between 6 and 12 people in a group of houses in southern Afghanistan, very close to the border with Pakistan, Pakistani residents of the area said Friday.

The strike came after the United States launched a commando raid by Special Operations forces in South Waziristan in Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan on Wednesday, the first of what American military officials said could be more raids to attack Taliban insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal region.

According to reports from Al Must reaching Miran Shah, 6 to 12 people, including men of Arab descent, were killed, said Ahsan Dawar, a journalist in Miran Shah. Among the dead were two women and three children, Mr. Dawar said. Mr. Dawar said that on Thursday, a pilotless American aircraft struck a large house in another village, Chaar Kehl, about 16 miles west of Miran Shah. In that attack at about 5 p.m. Thursday, seven Arab men were killed, he said.

Another local resident, Mahmood Khan, said that pilotless aircraft were seen over Al Must at 9 a.m. Friday morning. The strikes Friday appeared to indicate that the United States was forging ahead with a tougher strategy to curb the escalating numbers of Taliban fighters crossing from Pakistan to attack American and NATO soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

Although the foreign minister used strong language in the Parliament, there was a growing belief that Pakistan was sharing more intelligence with the United States that allowed for more accurate targeting of Arab and other foreign militants who live among civilians in South and North Waziristan.

So the children and women just don't matter to the U.S.?

Reuters reported on Friday that health officials are seeing an outbreak of cholera in refugees in northwest Pakistan. An estimated 300,000 people have fled the fighting in the area, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday.