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The FATA officer, in fact, went further, urging the US to do follow-up strikes immediately after initial attacks. - File Photo

KARACHI: In a cable sent on October 2, 2009 the US Peshawar Consulate’s Principal Officer Candace Putnam reported on discussions with a high-ranking FATA Secretariat officer on September 30 about an imminent military operation in South Waziristan. When asked if the bureaucrat - who coordinates closely with the army - thought the army had enough troops to take on the operation, he responded “after a long pause” that “the Army thought they had the capability and that the US could assist with continued strikes.”

The FATA officer, in fact, went further, urging the US to do follow-up strikes immediately after initial attacks. “He explained that after a strike, the terrorists seal off the area to collect the bodies; in the first 10-24 hours after an attack, the only people in the area are terrorists,” writes Putnam, then quotes the FATA officer as saying “you should hit them again-there are no innocents there at that time.” The official also “drew a diagram essentially laying out the rationale for signature strikes that eliminated terrorist training camps and urged that the US do more of these.”

Cable Referenced: WikiLeaks #227969

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