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       Friday, January 13, 2006

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17 Dead in Airstrike, Fate of al-Qaeda Unclear

Several media outlets are reporting that Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's number-two man and Osama bin Laden's chief deputy, may have been among the 17 counted dead in an airstrike on a remote Pakistani village Friday. However, reports from worldwide news sources are conflicting and confusing, even disagreeing as to the number of people killed.

Al Jazeera calls it a "US strike" and yet admits that the "US Defence Department denied having conducted operations in the area." Even though they had originally reported 18 dead, they claimed later that "some witnesses told Aljazeera about 30 people were killed."

Other news agencies from around the world are also reporting it as an American airstrike, citing "unnamed American intelligence officials." CBS News, as well as local affiliates like KHON, have reported American involvment. The AP has circulated several reports, and foreign news services like China View have picked it up, in turn citing American news sources.

While most reports are stating their information came from the American media or unnamed intelligence sources, FOX News has revealed the source of the claim of U.S. involvement to be "Sahibzada Haroon ur Rashid, a local lawmaker from a hard-line Islamic party..." Meanwhile, Lt. Mike Cody, spokesman for the U.S. military, said he wasn't aware of the attack.

Kit Jarrell blogs at Euphoric Reality.

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posted by Kit Jarrell at 9:16 PM  


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