Second man charged in U.S. embassy attack
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From the CIA
Pakistan retracts statement that missile landed on its soilBy Amir Zia, Associated Press, 08/21/98
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan condemned America's attack on Sudan and neighboring Afghanistan today, but the government retracted an earlier statement that a stray missile had struck its territory and killed at least five people.
The retraction followed a telephone call from President Clinton to the Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Tariq Altaf said earlier today that five or six people were killed by a stray American missile that had landed within Pakistan near the Afghan border.
But hours later, a Foreign Ministry statement said Altaf's comments were based on ``inaccurate information.''
``No casualty has occurred inside Pakistani territory as believed earlier,'' the statement said. ``No damage either has been caused on the Pakistan side.''
The Foreign Ministry also said that Clinton had called the Pakistani prime minister to explain about the missile attacks, but gave no details of what the U.S. president said.
In his talk with Clinton, Sharif said the U.S. strikes ``constituted a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of independent states.''
But he also stressed that Islamabad was committed to ``combating terrorism in all its forms,'' the Foreign Ministry said.
The government's outrage was mirrored today in protests across the country. Violence broke out at one demonstration, in the Afghan border city of Peshawar that hosts thousands of Afghan refugees.
Many of the protests were called by conservative Islamic parties who have condemned the U.S. military attacks on bases linked to Osama Bin Laden. Clinton said investigators had determined bin Laden was behind Aug. 7 U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa that killed 257 people.
The United Nations closed its offices and directed its American and other foreign staff to stay in their homes for their own safety.
The State Department had recalled all non-essential diplomatic staff and their families Monday and warned other Americans to leave the country. Many Americans who had stayed are now flying out, some catching flights early this morning.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Richard Hoagland said he had no numbers on how many of the estimated 6,700 Americans living in Pakistan have left.
Police today rolled out barbed wire outside the American cultural center, where Hoagland has his office. Dozens of Pakistani police and a few paramilitary troops stood guard, some on the roof of the center. Across town, more police officers stood guard at the U.S. Embassy.
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