Pakistan Confirms 4 Foreign Militants Killed in Missile Attack
17 January 2006
Pakistan has confirmed that Friday's U.S. missile attack in its border area was aimed at foreign militants invited to a dinner and at least four of them were killed.
It was the first confirmation by Pakistan that the attack in the Bajaur tribal region bordering Afghanistan targeted members of al-Qaida and the Taleban.
Bajaur's head of administration issued a statement Tuesday saying up to 12 insurgents were invited to the dinner. It says at least four to five of them were killed in the attack, but their bodies were removed quickly by their companions.
The statement also expressed regret that 18 local people were killed.
U.S. intelligence initially reported that al-Qaida's number two leader Ayman al-Zawahiri may have died in the attack, although Pakistani officials later said he did not go to the dinner.
The missile strike was allegedly carried out by a CIA-operated drone aircraft.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has condemned the attack, saying that his country would not accept such actions by other countries on its territory.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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