The Washington Post reports that:
“Suspected U.S. missiles slammed into two villages close to the Afghan border Friday, killing 27 people, including an Arab al-Qaeda operative and other foreign fighters.”
Intelligence sources say that, in the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, a house and a car suffered damage and 20 people died when hit by two missiles. Two hours later, two missiles hit another village in South Waziristan, killing seven people. Foreign extremists are reportedly among the dead.
Although the United States does not usually confirm or deny such attacks, intelligence officials apparently spoke to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity.
The dead al-Qaeda operative was identified as Abu Kasha Iraqi. He had been organizing attacks on NATO troops in Afghanistan from bases in Pakistan’s tribal regions where he had been living for about three years.
For some time now, foreign Islamist extremists, including al-Qaeda fighters and Osama bin Laden himself, are said to occupy secret bases in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. And, to deal with this threat, President Bush has apparently authorized direct military action. These strikes are the latest of at least 17 such attacks since August. Furthermore, in September American special forces conducted at least one ground raid into Pakistan.