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US bombs Pakistan: an act of reckless imperialism

US bombing in northern Pakistan: an act of imperialist recklessness

By James Cogan - World Socialist Web Site

16 January 2006

The US air strike carried out on January 13 on the isolated village of Damadola, near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, was as reckless as it was criminal. At least 18 civilians were killed, including five women and five children, further inflaming already high political and social tensions inside Pakistan.

Under international law, the strike was an act of war. The Pakistani government of President Pervez Musharraf has collaborated with the US takeover of Afghanistan and its broader international aggression, but it has never formally granted the US military the right to cross the border and carry out operations on Pakistani soil or airspace. It is unclear whether the Pakistani government and military had pre-knowledge of the attack. But in the face of public outrage it has been compelled to issue a protest to the US ambassador and deplore the bombing of Damadola as “highly condemnable”.

Not only was the attack a violation of Pakistani national sovereignty, the intended target—the senior Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri—was not even in the village. Haroon Rashid, the local member of the Pakistani National Assembly, told Afghan Islamic Press: “I know all the 18 people who were killed. There was neither al-Zawahiri nor any other Arab among them. Rather they were all poor people of the area.” A Pakistani military intelligence officer told Al Jazeerah: “Their [the US military] information was wrong, and our investigations conclude that they acted on false information.”

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