Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Pakistan army takes issue over U.S. missile attack," Reuters, May 17, 2008.

[Fourteen killed to get one here; 24 killed in Somalia to get another one. Shoddy work. Everyone is safer without that kind of security. What we really need is to sideline that attitude. Dis-empowerment. Take their toys away. -jlt]

ISLAMABAD, May 17 (Reuters) - The Pakistan army has taken issue with coalition forces in Afghanistan over a missile attack launched by a U.S. drone aircraft that killed 14 people, an army spokesman told Reuters on Saturday. Two missiles hit a house on Wednesday in the village of Damadola in Bajaur, a Pakistani tribal region where al Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamist militant groups are active, a security official said.

"We have informed the coalition headquarters in Afghanistan ... we have raised this issue in tripartite commission," army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said.

The commission comprises the military commanders from the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan and the Afghan and Pakistani armies.

Abbas added that it was up to the government to decide whether to lodge a formal protest with the United States.

Abbas said the house that had been hit belonged to someone sympathetic to the militants.

The strike had apparently targetted and killed a mid-level, Arab al Qaeda member, according to a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

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