PESHAWAR - As many as 20 people were killed when the United States-led allied troops opened indiscriminate firing on the occupants of a house in the border area of Birmal region in South Waziristan Agency in the early hours of Wednesday.
Three gunship helicopters dropped US commandos in the area and later the soldiers entered the house of Payo Jan in village Jalolkhel.
The local people informed that the foreign troops entered the house of Payo Jan at around 3.
30 am.
The local tribesmen informed that soon after entrance of the foreign soldiers, they heard huge sound of explosions and firing.
Besides using modern weapons, the US troops also used hand grenades and other explosive material, thus razing to ground certain portions of the house.
The US-led allied NATO troops later flew back across the border in Afghanistan.
The local people informed that 16 people were killed in the US-led allied troops attacks whereas NWFP Governor Owais Ghani stated that 20 persons were killed in the attack.
The killed persons besides five men also included three women and three children.
The tribesmen confirmed recovering of 10 bodies from the debris.
Though the tribesmen claimed that all the victims were local yet complete identity of the killed persons couldn't be confirmed so far.
Interestingly the site of the US-led allied troops is situated around three hundred metres away from the camp of security forces in the border areas between the two neighbouring countries.
The first-ever direct attack of the US-led allied troops inside Pakistan resulted in widespread unrest amongst the tribesmen all over the area.
Earlier, the US troops entered into Lawara Mandi of North Waziristan some two years ago but returned without any action.
And the patrolling by the US drones or violation of Pakistan's airspace by the US-led allied planes is order of the day since long.
It merits mentioning that in the last two months, the US-led allied troops from their camps across the border in Afghanistan targeted several suspected compounds, killing dozens of militants including foreigners.
A number of Al Qaeda fugitives are also included amongst the killed militants.
Meanwhile, the NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani has condemned in the strongest words the attack by three Afghanistan-based coalition gunship helicopters and commandos on a village in Birmal area of South Waziristan, in which at least 20 innocent citizens martyred.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday the Governor said,"It is outrageous", adding that as administrative head of FATA, he was responsible for the safety and security of the citizens of the country in that area.
The Governor further stated that this was a direct assault on the sovereignty of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan expect that the Armed Forces of Pakistan would rise to defend the sovereignty of the country and give a befitting reply to all such attacks.
The Governor expressed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families and assured that the Government would try its best to protect its citizens from such cowardly attacks in the days to come.
Agencies add: US commandos from Afghanistan killed 20 people, including women and children, in a pre-dawn raid inside Pakistan, officials said, an attack branded as an assault on the nation's sovereignty.
Foreign channels say the US occasionally launches airstrikes against militant targets in Pakistan's border region, sometimes in coordination with the Pakistani army.
But a raid by ground troops would be rare.
Locals say three helicopter gunships dropped international troops in the Musa Nikeh area of South Waziristan, located on the border with Afghanistan, overnight.
They say the soldiers killed more than a dozen people with gunfire and bombs, including women and children.
"Troops came in helicopters and carried out action in three houses," Gul Nawaz, a shopkeeper of Angor Adda village, said.
Witnesses told the BBC that troops entered the house of a local tribesman, opened fire and then lobbed a bomb in the house.
They said at least nine bodies had been recovered from the debris.
The witnesses said the family was not known for links with militants.
An official in South Waziristan tribal district, Mowaz Khan, said that helicopters dropped troops into the border village of Jalal Khel, and that the troops shot civilians who had left their homes upon hearing the choppers.
Pakistan has protested in the past about missile strikes on its territory, aimed at militant targets in tribal areas.
A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said he had no word of such a raid, and that the force does not have a mandate to attack outside the borders of Afghanistan unless its troops come under fire from within Pakistan.
Raids with helicopters or aircraft are extremely rare but American media recently reported that the US was planning direct attacks on Pakistani soil.
A recent series of missile strikes targeting rebels in Pakistan has been attributed to US-led coalition forces or CIA drones based in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the ISPR has said that ISAF troops landed two helicopters at a village near Angoor Adda in South Waziristan Agency in the wee hours on Wednesday and as per reports received so far, killed seven innocent civilians.
The spokesman strongly condemned this completely unprovoked act of killing and regretted the loss of precious lives.
He blamed the coalition forces for this violent act and said, "such acts of aggression do not serve the common cause of fighting terrorism and militancy in the area.
" 1st Lt.
Nathan Perry, a spokesman for the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, said it had 'no information to give' about the alleged operation, while a spokesman for NATO troops there denied any involvement.
The US embassy in Islamabad declined to comment.
Residents said the dead were buried Wednesday.
A NATO spokesman in Afghanistan said foreign forces are generally prohibited from mounting cross-border attacks into Pakistan.
The spokesman, who only gave his name as Sgt.
Yates, said NATO forces occasionally employ artillery or aerial missiles to target insurgents who attack coalition troops from Pakistani territory, but the rules of engagement are very carefully proscribed.
"Our area of operations stops at the border.
We don't go over the border period," Yates said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and NWFP Governor have condemned the attack.
Gilani said that no external forces could be allowed to launch an offensive on Pakistan's territory, as Pakistan is fully capable to counter militancy and terrorism within its borders.
  NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani has condemned the attack and termed it as outrageous and rank violation of international norm.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon declined comment Wednesday on Pakistani charges that at least 20 people were killed in a cross-border raid by Afghan-based international forces.
"I don't have anything for you on those reports," said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, refusing further comment.
A spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said he had no word of such a raid, and that the force does not have a mandate to attack outside the borders of Afghanistan unless its troops come under fire from within Pakistan.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 04-Sep-2008 here.