Suspected US Strike Kills 30 in Pakistan

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2009 10:33 AM CST
Suspected US Strike Kills 30 in Pakistan
An unmanned Air Force Predator in Iraq.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – An airstrike in Pakistan’s troubled South Waziristan region, likely orchestrated by the US, has killed about 30 people, the Los Angeles Times reports. The dead are thought to be al-Qaeda or Taliban militants; the attack destroyed the compound of an associate of the Taliban leader suspected in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. It's the deadliest such strike since President Obama took office.

The raid comes just days after Sen. Dianne Feinstein perhaps inadvertently acknowledged that the CIA drones used in such attacks fly out of Pakistan itself, not Afghanistan, the Times notes. The strikes are unpopular among Pakistanis, in part because of the loss of civilian lives, and a political minefield for the government, now led by Bhutto's widower. The Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, is not believed dead, and it is uncertain whether he was the target. (Read more airstrike stories.)

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