Asif Ali Zardari, widower of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was elected president of Pakistan Sept. 6 by a wide margin. Zardari—who spent 11 years in prison on corruption charges that remain unproved—succeeds Pervez Musharraf, who resigned last month under threat of impeachment. He is expected to be sworn in next week. The day of his election, a suicide car bombing on a police post in Peshawar killed at least 30 people and injured dozens others. Elsewhere in the city, a suicide attack on a military checkpoint killed 16 people. At Tehsil Matta village in the Swat valley, 24 people were killed as residents foiled an attempted kidnapping by local militants. (IHT, Sept. 7; AP, Australian Broadcasting Co., Sept. 6)
Four children were among six killed Sept. 5 in a suspected missile attack from a US drone on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in North Waziristan. “Three missiles were fired from a drone that hit two houses. Four children, a woman and a man have been killed in the attack,” anonymous Pakistani officials asserted, saying the attack occurred at Almakath village, Gorveek district, 80 kilometers west of Miranshah. The army, however, denied that the strike was carried out in Pakistan’s territory. “There was no strike on our side of the border. The news is incorrect,” chief military spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told AFP. (Daily Times, Sept. 6)
Pakistani officials said US troops flew into Jalal Khel, South Waziristan, by helicopter in a Sept. 3 raid that left up to 20 dead, mostly thought to be civilians. The White House, State Department and Pentagon all moved to clamp down on administration discussion of the assault, but government officials confirmed the broad details provided by the Pakistani government. (LAT, Sept. 5; NYT, Sept. 3)
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