News / Asia

Report: US Preparing for Retaliatory Strike if Terror Attack Traced to Pakistan

Police in Pakistan say Taliban attackers carried out Friday's bloody attack on two mosques in Lahore belonging to the Ahmadi religious minority.

Police said Saturday that the attackers were Pakistani Taliban fighters who trained in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Gunmen armed with grenades and suicide vests stormed the two mosques shortly after the start of Friday prayers in the northeastern city of Lahore.  At least 93 people were killed.

Police captured two of the attackers, while at least two others died at the scene.

The Pakistani Taliban has also been linked to an attempted car bombing earlier this month in New York City.  The United States says Faisal Shahzad, a U.S. citizen born in Pakistan who was arrested for the failed attack, trained with and was supported by Taliban militants.

Also, a major U.S. newspaper said Saturday that the U.S. military is reviewing the possibility of staging a unilateral strike in Pakistan if a successful attack on U.S. soil is ever traced to the South Asian country.

The Washington Post says the U.S. would only consider launching an attack in Pakistan in extreme circumstances.  The CIA has been using drones (unmanned aircraft) to bomb al-Qaida and Taliban hideouts in Pakistan.

The newspaper quoted top military officials as saying the United States has been considering new options for military action against militants in Pakistan since the bombing attempt in New York's Times Square, which could have caused a large number of casualties.

According to the Post, U.S. military forces currently have been given the authority to launch unilateral strikes in Pakistan only if they involve three top targets: al-Qaida leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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