Tue, Oct 28, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Families bury dead after rare US strike on Syrian territory

ATTACKS Another suspected US attack in Pakistan killed up to 20 people. Officials said it targeted the house of a lieutenant to a Taliban chief

AP , SUKKARIYEH, SYRIA AND DERA ISMAIL KHAN, PAKISTAN

Families in a village near the Iraqi border buried loved ones yesterday who they said were killed when the US military launched a rare attack in Syrian territory.

The Syrian government said four US military helicopters attacked a civilian building under construction shortly before sundown on Sunday in Sukkariyeh about 8km inside the Syrian border.

The government statement said eight people were killed, including a man and his four children and a woman. However, local officials said seven men were killed and two other people were injured, including a woman.

A journalist at the funerals in the village’s cemetery saw the bodies of seven men — none of them minors. The discrepancy could not immediately be explained.

A US military official in Washington confirmed on Sunday that special forces had conducted a raid in Syria that targeted the network of al-Qaeda-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq.

Syria called the raid a “serious aggression,” and its Foreign Ministry summoned the charges d’affaires of the US and Iraq in protest.

Meanwhile, a suspected US missile strike killed up to 20 people in northwest Pakistan yesterday, officials said, the latest salvo in an intensifying assault on militant hide-outs near the Afghan border.

The reported missile strike occurred in South Waziristan, part of a belt of tribally governed territory considered a possible hiding place for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.

Two intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media on the record, said the targeted house in Mandata Raghzai village belonged to a lieutenant of local Taliban chief Maulvi Nazir.

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