(I think the old saw is true: that the only way Americans learn geography is by going to war...how many Americans could find Afghanistan on the map before 9/11? Ever heard of Fallujah before Iraq?)
From the AP:
Pakistani intelligence agents hunted Wednesday for the graves of four al-Qaida militants believed killed in an airstrike near the Afghan border -- including at least one suspected high-ranking al-Qaida figure. ABC News and The New York Times reported that Pakistani officials believe a master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert for al-Qaida was killed in the attack on the village of Damadola last week. He was identified as Midhat Mursi, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, who ran an al-Qaida training camp and has a $5 million reward on his head. Also killed, Pakistani officials believe, was Khalid Habib, the al-Qaida operations chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, ABC said. The Times, however, said officials were uncertain about whether he was killed.
The Times also reported that Pakistani officials believe Moroccan Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi, the son-in-law of al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the man who ran the group's propaganda in the region, was killed in the strike. ABC described al-Maghrebi as a senior operations commander. The newspaper said an Egyptian chief of insurgent operations in a region near the airstrikes also was believed killed and an Egyptian associate of al-Zawahiri's was possibly slain.
Pentagon officials said they had no information on the reported identities of the dead and CIA spokesman Tom Crispell said the agency could not comment.
That's because nobody has the actual, er, bodies.
The New York Times:
The bodies of the men have not been recovered, but the two officials said the Pakistani authorities had been able to establish through intelligence sources the names of three of those killed in the strikes, and maybe a fourth. Both of the officials have provided reliable information in the past, but neither would be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the news media.(Bill Roggio at Threats Watch says 'According to a trusted source, the DNA tests are complete and the two other other “foreigners” killed are said to be al-Qaeda bodyguards.' But, um, they don't have any bodies so I doubt that.)
So four, or five. Big ones. But there is yet another wrinkle. Two more bodies seem to be missing:
2 graves near Damadola found empty
The villagers are claiming 18 innocents died in the attack. There are 18 graves to match. But two are empty.
So the villagers, who insist no foreigners were in the area, were busy little beavers. They sorted the bodies, dug graves, buried the locals, and hid the foreigners.
And it's possible that an early report saying there were as many as 7 foreigners may have been correct after all.