Pakistan has lodged a protest with U.S. diplomats over an apparent U.S. airstrike that killed at least 18 people, including women and children, in a tribal region near the country's border with Afghanistan.
U.S. media reports, citing unnamed intelligence sources, say the attack, carried out early Friday, targeted Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. There has been no official confirmation by the U.S. of its involvement in the attack or whether Zawahiri was the intended target. Pakistan's foreign ministry on Saturday issued a statement condemning the civilian deaths, and thousands of tribesmen from the region staged anti-American protests. Pakistani officials also said al-Qaida's number two in command was not in the village of Damadola at the time of the bombing, and Dubai-based Arabic broadcaster al-Arabiyah quotes, what it says are, reliable sources as saying Zawahiri is still alive.