There were angry scenes in Pakistan during the funerals of around 80 people killed in an attack government forces. Military commanders said the raid, involving ground missile-firing helicopters, struck at an al-Qaeda-linked training facility. It was run by a pro-Taliban commander wanted for harbouring militants, they said.
The target was a religious school or Madrasa in the Bajaur tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Local people and Islamist leaders rejected the army’s claims no civilians had been killed.
“Why have they owned (up to) this very shameful act of killing the innocent people. This area is not an area where there can be any (militant) training camp,” one leader said.
People took to the streets to protest against the government which they accused of acting only in America’s interests.
The attack has threatened to derail peace efforts between officials and tribal leaders in a region long regarded as a regarded by Karachi and Washington as a haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.