A suspected U.S. drone attack killed 10 people in northwest Pakistan on Thursday morning, but missed the leader of the Taliban in the country, officials said.
Four missiles struck near a madrassa, or religious school, in South Waziristan, Pakistani intelligence and local officials said.The school had been converted into a training camp for militants, the officials said.
All those killed in the attack were militants, but not members of the Taliban, the officials said.
The Washington Post, citing a United Nations report released Wednesday, reports that 2009 “was the deadliest for Afghan civilians since the U.S.-led war began here in 2001.”
But in a shift from 2008, when the United States and its allies were deemed responsible for nearly half of all civilian deaths, the survey blamed the Taliban for the vast majority of the killings last year,” write the Post’s Keith B. Richburg and Joshua Partlow.
Over at Vanity Fair, William Langewiesche takes a look at the role of U.S. military snipers in Afghanistan.
“During World War II, snipers were seen as a spooky, merciless “Murder Inc.” by other soldiers—the brutal intimacy of their kills made them a breed apart,” Langewiesche writes.”
“But in Afghanistan, where avoiding civilian deaths is a top priority, U.S. military sharpshooters may have found the war that needs them most.”
In other news reports and perspectives:
- Vanda Felbab-Brown (Brookings Institution): “Obama’s challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan”
- Ralph Masi (GlobalSecurity.org): “The coming Afghanistan surge – and the severely wounded”
- Adam Ferguson (New York Times): “Photographing Afghan girls”
- Christopher Dickey (Newsweek): “Divorce, Jihadi style”
- Sage Stossel (Atlantic): “Understanding Afghanistan”