American commandos raided al-Qaeda encampments inside Pakistan yesterday, the New York Times reports. The US has carried out air strikes in the region before but this is the first acknowledged ground raid inside Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, long suspected of being the hideout of Osama Bin Laden. The commandos were airlifted by helicopter into the troubled South Waziristan tribal area.
Pakistan officials lodged a strong protest with the US government and warned that they reserve the right of “self-defense and retaliation." Pakistan authorities said the raid killed 20 people, including women and children, but failed to kill or capture any senior militants. The raid could signal the start of an aggressive new campaign against al-Qaeda and Taliban militants inside Pakistan, US officials indicated.