US ground troops conducted a raid into Pakistan’s tribal areas leaving an estimated 20 dead. The governor of the North-West Frontier Province, Owais Ahmed Ghani, said that the raid was ‘outrageous,” and the government charged that women and children were among the dead. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry called US ambassador Ann Patterson in for an explanation.
The US was already in trouble with people in this region because of an air raid in Afghanistan that killed civilians. Bush
apologized expressed ‘regret’ to President Hamid Karzai for the deaths of the innocents. Afghans maintain that some 90 people were killed in the air strike. The US military insists that the toll was 30 dead Taliban and 7 dead civilians.
Also, on Wednesday, Pakistani prime minister Yousef Raza Gilani’s car was fired on, presumably by the Tehrik-i Taliban; he was not in it at the time.
Despite a cease-fire for the fasting month of Ramadan, Pakistani security forces fought tribal militants in Swat on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving 30 Taliban dead and several Pakistani troops, as well.
Aljazeera English on the struggle in the North-West Frontier Province between Pushtun nationalists and the fundamentalist vigilantes:
Since the province voted the secular nationalists into power last February, I conclude that the fundamentalists aren’t all that popular.
On the situation inside Afghanistan: Aljazeera English reports that the neo-Taliban believe they could take the city of Ghazni at any time:
Pushtun guerrillas killed 3 Canadian / NATO troops on Wednesday in southern Afghanistan.