M A I N   N E W S

11 killed in mistaken fire by Pak troops

Wana, Pakistan, February 28
Pakistani troops opened fire on a van they thought was carrying Islamic militants on today killing at least 11 persons in a region where forces are hunting Osama bin Laden, officials said.

An intelligence official told Reuters that initial investigations suggested those killed in the South Waziristan tribal region were not militants and that it was “mistaken fire”, but a military statement said some may have been “terrorists”.

The incident took place shortly after a base of Pakistani soldiers, who have been hunting fighters from Bin Laden’s Al Qaida, came under attack.

The Pakistani military said the deaths occurred in crossfire after the army post came under mortar attack and a checkpoint came under fire from two or three vehicles. “The chances of some civilians having been killed cannot be ruled out,” the military said.

Witnesses said the dead were five local tribesmen and six Afghans. A military statement confirmed 11 reported deaths and said 16 persons had been arrested.

“The situation in Waziristan is very tense after the incident, the people are very angry,” a resident told Reuters.

The intelligence official said four armed men travelling in a car fired in the air as troops were trying to defuse rockets in Shulam, a village near Wana, capital of South Waziristan.

He said troops radioed a message to a nearby military post and troops fired on the van, mistaking it for the fleeing car.

Today’s incident came as U.S. and Pakistani officials denied a report on Iranian state radio which quoted “an informed source” as saying that Bin Laden had been captured in the border region. — Reuters


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |