01-23-2009, 05:56 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Re: 14 killed as suspected U.S. missiles hit Pakistan
I guess the death toll is up to 17 now http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/01/2
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Seventeen people were killed Friday evening in two U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan's tribal region, said one government and two military officials.
They are the first such strikes since President Obama took office Tuesday.
Both hits were near the Afghan border, said local political official Nasim Dawar. The Pakistani military sources asked not to be named because they are not authorized to release such information.
The first strike, which killed 10 people, occurred about 5:15 p.m. (7:15 a.m. ET) in a village near Mir Ali in North Waziristan, the officials said. Seven people died in the second hit at 7:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET) near Wana, the major town in South Waziristan, 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Afghanistan, they said.
There has been no immediate response from U.S. officials.
The Pakistan military's top spokesman called the attacks, which he said were by pilotless drones, "counterproductive," because they undercut his country's efforts to oust militants from the ungoverned tribal areas.
"It helps us in no way conducting our operations," Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told CNN. "We are trying to create to wean away the tribe at large from the militant component of the tribe. But it diminishes the line which divides the militant component and the tribe at large."
Abbas said, "We face much more difficulty as a result of drone strikes, and we have conveyed our position on that" to the United States.
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, interviewed on CNN's "The Situation Room," repeated that public opinion in his country is strongly against the strikes on Pakistan territory.
Musharraf was asked whether he is comfortable with the continuation of the attacks, even with a new U.S. president in place.
"As far as this issue of the new president, President Obama, having taken over and this continuing ... I've always been saying that policies don't change with personalities.
Democracy Now! | Headlines for January 23, 2009
"Obama Condemns Palestinian Rocket Fire, Silent on US-Backed Israeli Mass Killings in Gaza
Meanwhile, Obama made his first substantive comments on the Middle East conflict since Israel’s attack on Gaza. Obama first mentioned his commitment to Israel’s security, without affirming his commitment to Palestinian security. He condemned Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israeli towns, but didn’t criticize the US-backed Israeli bombings of densely populated Gaza. But in a departure from the Bush administration, Obama acknowledged Palestinian suffering and said Gaza’s borders should be opened to aid.
President Obama: “I was deeply concerned by the loss of Palestinian and Israeli life in recent days and by the substantial suffering and humanitarian needs in Gaza. Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in need of immediate food, clean water and basic medical care, and who’ve faced suffocating poverty for far too long. Now we must extend a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace. As part of a lasting ceasefire, Gaza’s border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce, with an appropriate monitoring regime, with the international and Palestinian Authority participating. Relief efforts must be able to reach innocent Palestinians who depend on them.”
In further comments that could signal a departure from Bush, Obama mentioned the Arab League peace initiative, which would offer Israel normalized relations in return for a full withdrawal from the Occupied Territories and a just resolution for Palestinian refugees. The Bush administration had backed Israel’s rejection of the offer and its expansion of settlements in the Occupied West Bank.
President Obama: “I should add that the Arab peace initiative contains constructive elements that could help advance these efforts. Now is the time for Arab states to act on the initiative’s promise by supporting the Palestinian government under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, taking steps towards normalizing relations with Israel, and by standing up to extremism that threatens us all.”
While Palestinan President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed Obama’s comments, a Hamas spokesperson told Al Jazeera television Obama’s position does not represent change.
Pakistan's ex-president also told CNN he didn't think the 10b from the US was enough $ to compensate for all Pakistan's done for us in terms of fighting global terror. Here we go....