Waziristan: 22 killed in madrassa missile strike?

At least 22 people were killed and 10 wounded when a missile hit a cluster of compounds in Datakhel district of Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region, locals said. Taliban leaders said the death toll was as high as 32. Reports were sketchy about the cause of the explosion but local people insisted that missiles had hit a madrassa, killing several people and wounding scores of others. Maj-Gen Arshad Waheed of Pakistan’s military denied reports that national army or coalition forces had carried out the attack, calling it an “accidental blast.”

Sources on the ground said the building struck was a seminary at Mamerogha Seleria, about 45 kilometres west of Miran Shah, the regional capital of North Waziristan. Some said most of those killed were of Uzbek origin. By some accounts, the missile came from across the Afghan border, which is three kilometers away.

US-led Coalition forces in Afghanistan denied involvement. “We checked into this and we have no indications that we have fired anything across the border into Pakistan,” spokesman Col David Accetta said in Kabul. (AKI, June 20)

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