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Pakistan Files Protest With U.S. Over Air Strike

14 January 2006 -- Pakistan today filed a formal protest with the U.S. Embassy over a deadly air strike on Pakistani territory.

The attack happened on 13 January in the northwestern village of Damadola. The strike killed at least 18 people.

News agencies, citing unidentified sources in the U.S. intelligence community, reported that the strike was aimed at top Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

News agencies also quoted two unnamed senior Pakistani officials as saying al-Zawahiri was not at the site of the attack.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry released a statement saying preliminary investigations into the strike show there was a "foreign presence in the area and that in all probability was targeted from across the border in Afghanistan."

The U.S. Defense Department has denied that the U.S. military conducted any attacks in the area.

(AFP, AP, Reuters)

Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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