India-Pakistan: October 2, 2003


Pakistani troops raided tribal villages along the Afghan border. Coming in by land and helicopter, troops captured 18 Afghans, Arabs and Uzbeks, as well as Pakistani tribesmen. At least eight foreigners and Pakistanis died.  Two soldiers were killed. The area raided, South Waziristan, has long been a suspected Taliban hangout. It is thought that the Taliban and al Qaeda paid cash to the tribal leaders for their sanctuary. Pakistan has long been under American and Afghan pressure to go after villages that Taliban and al Qaeda were using for bases. This raid may be the opening battle in a campaign to drive the Taliban and al Qaeda from the border area. Then again, this may be one operation, mounted mainly to get the Americans to stop complaining. The US is also supplying Pakistan with much needed military equipment, and deliveries may be dependent on some action along the border. 


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