|Pakistan Militants Kill 2 Afghans|
|Monday, 30 June 2008|
AP, KHAR, Pakistan
A gang of Pakistani militants executed two Afghan prisoners in front of thousands of cheering supporters Friday, beheading one man and shooting the other after accusing them of aiding a U.S. missile strike.
The executions in the Bajur region highlighted the power of local Taliban forces in lawless tribal areas near the Afghan border.
Waliur Rehman, a local Taliban commander, told the crowd that the two men had confessed to aiding in the strike on a house in the border town of Damadola that killed 14 people last month.
The men disclosed the names of others accused of involvement, who would be killed as well, Rehman said. Pakistan's army lodged a formal protest to "allied forces" in Afghanistan after saying Pakistan had concluded the attack was launched by drones from across the border. The U.S. did not comment on the incident.
"Whoever, for the sake of money, for the sake of America, harms the interest of the Islamic world will meet the same fate," Rehman said.
There was no immediate reaction to the killings from U.S. or Pakistani officials.
The recently elected Pakistani government has supported negotiations that would give local tribes and militants broad authority over some tribal areas. The U.S. says those deals will only give Taliban and al-Qaida forces in the border region more freedom to attack Afghanistan.
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