World and Nation

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U.S. Attack on Taliban Compound Kills 23 in Pakistan Border Area

Five missiles fired from an American pilotless aircraft on Monday hit a large compound in North Waziristan belonging to one of Pakistan’s most prominent Taliban leaders, two Pakistani intelligence officials and a local resident said Monday.

The missile attack, at about 10:20 a.m., killed 23 people, including eight children, and injured at least 18, according to accounts of the intelligence officials. The strike singled out the compound run by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, whom the United States has accused of organizing some of the most serious recent attacks in Afghanistan against U.S. and NATO forces and of masterminding a failed assassination attempt against the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.

Among those killed in the attack were one of Jalaluddin Haqqani’s two wives, his sister, sister-in-law and eight of his grandchildren, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Storm Long Past, Darkness and Heat Still Cling to Baton Rouge

The fearsome heat of a south Louisiana summer, unmediated by air conditioning, reduces the strong to a primal struggle and sends the weak to the hospital.

Thousands here are enduring it this way seven days after Hurricane Gustav. Nearly 40 percent of the city’s electrical power remains out, and the principal utility, Entergy, says it will be the last week of September before everyone’s electricity here in the state capital is restored.

Whole neighborhoods are sweating it out, discovering things about the natural setting, themselves and their neighbors they did not know and in some cases did not particularly want to know. Front doors are open, generators are humming, downed tree limbs are piled high, and the people are dripping.

Power blackouts have been widespread in south Louisiana during the last week. More than 200,000 of Entergy’s customers in Louisiana were still without power Monday, down from nearly 829,000 immediately after the storm.

Bombers Kill Two in Afghanistan

Two suicide bombers succeeded in penetrating the police headquarters building of this major southern city on Sunday, killing two policemen and wounding 29 officers and eight civilians, senior officials said. One of the bombers reached the second floor and the explosion narrowly missed the provincial police chief and the regional chief of the Border Guards, they said.

A Taliban spokesman, speaking by telephone, immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. Coming three months after a spectacular jailbreak staged by the Taliban that helped some 900 prisoners escape, the twin bombings were another propaganda coup for the insurgents. They have repeatedly exposed the weakness of the Afghan government and police forces, and of the NATO forces training them.

Kandahar’s police station was struck in a deadly suicide bombing in 2006, and it is now guarded with barriers and high blast-protective walls. Yet the bombers, who were on foot, evaded the security.

The provincial governor, Gen. Rahmatullah Raufi, went to the town hospital to visit the wounded. He said an investigation was already under way into how the assailants had entered the compound and reached the main building.