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The Angur Ada raid (Pashto: د انګور اډې بريد‎) was a covert raid conducted by U.S. Navy SEALs against Taliban fighters on September 3, 2008, within the border town of Angur Ada in South Waziristan. It was the first time American Troops fought a ground-based battle against the Taliban within Pakistani borders.[2] The raid took place at the same time as Pakistani military forces ended a four-week offensive in Bajaur, the northernmost Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of which South Waziristan is the southernmost, an offensive that has displaced approximately half a million people.[3]

Angur Ada raid
Part of the Insurgency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
DateSeptember 3, 2008
Result American victory
 United States Flag of Taliban.svg Taliban,
45 U.S. Navy SEALs Approximately 120–130 fighters
Casualties and losses
Estimated 20 people killed, civilian number unclear[1]



By September 2008, the trail of intelligence to find Osama bin Laden, had gone cold, and then-Vice Admiral William McRaven wanted to jump-start the effort. The target of the raid was a minor al-Qaeda facilitator. The raid was carried out by operators from DEVGRU's (also known as SEAL Team 6) Blue Squadron.[4]

The raid occurred in the village of Mūsā Nīkə (موسی نيکه) of the Angur Ada region of South Waziristan, Pakistan, less than one mile (1.6 km) from the border of Afghanistan. The operation was executed at 3:00 AM local time (23h00 in UTC).[5] Though the U.S. has performed missile strikes in Pakistan before, this is reportedly the first time U.S. troops have taken ground action within the country against Taliban fighters.[2] According to some early reports, roughly twenty people, possibly including three women and four children,[6] were killed in the raid.[7] However, it is not clear whether these were civilians or combatants; an American official stated that the women killed were helping the hostile militants.[5]

CH-47 Chinook helicopters carrying 45 U.S. Navy SEALs conducted the raid.[4] Only one of the helicopters landed and unloaded, while the two others flew overhead providing surveillance and aerial support to the other team.[8] Two F-16 fighter jets also provided air cover.[9] The forces attacked three houses,[6] owned by "Faujan Wazir, Faiz Mohammad and Nazar Jan Wazir." The entire operation lasted 30 minutes.[9] All of the inhabitants were apparently asleep when the raid occurred,[9] other sources say that as the SEALs scaled the walls of a compound, a resident opened fire on them with a shotgun and women inside began throwing themselves on the SEALs whilst the male occupants fled the houses.[4] After examination, none of the dead proved to be "important terrorists or high-value targets."[10] A U.S. military official stated that "a small number of militants [were] captured and several others killed," but refused to comment on exact numbers.[11]


A statement made by the Government of Pakistan said that "a strong protest by [the] Foreign Office has been lodged with [the] Government of United States,"[6] and "such acts of aggression do not serve the common cause of fighting terrorism and militancy in the area."[12] On September 4, the Pakistani parliament passed a resolution condemning the raid and demanding increased American oversight and cooperation with Pakistani officials when conducting covert operations.[13] Anne W. Patterson, the United States Ambassador to Pakistan, was called to the Pakistan Foreign Office, where a protest was lodged.[14] In response to the raid, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the National Assembly on Thursday, "There is no high-value target or known terrorist among the dead ... Only innocent civilians, including women and children, have been targeted."[15]

In response to the raid, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "I don't have anything for you on Pakistan, except to say that obviously we are working very closely with the civilian government there." Rice refused to comment on the possibility of civilian casualties.[2] Reuters cited U.S. Pentagon officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, who confirmed that the raid was conducted by U.S. special operations forces.[16]

The Chairman of the Pakistani Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), Gen Tariq Majid, stated that "Pakistan reserves right to retaliate".[17]

On Saturday, September 6, 2008, Pakistan blocked a fuel route supplying U.S. and other western forces operating in Afghanistan in response to the raid. "We have told them that we will take action and we have already taken action today. We have stopped the supply of oil and this will tell how serious we are," said Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ U.S. Troops Crossed Border, Pakistan Says 20 Locals Reported Killed in Assault Washington Post, September 4, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c "U.S. Conducts First Raid on Terrorists in Pakistan". ABC. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  3. ^ Shahzad, Syed Saleem (2008-09-03). "A sting in Pakistan's al-Qaeda mission". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  4. ^ a b c "Six little-known stories about secretive Joint Special Operations Command, as told in a new book". the Washington post. 1 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b American Forces Attack Militants on Pakistani Soil
  6. ^ a b c "Pakistan strongly condemns cross-border killing by coalition forces_English_Xinhua". Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  7. ^ Suspected US commandos kill 20 in S Waziristan raid Archived September 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ American Forces Attack Militants on Pakistani Soil (p. 2)
  9. ^ a b c "Today's Newspaper – The News International". The News International, Pakistan. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  10. ^ Zardari says fighting terror is Pakistani priority
  11. ^ ABC News. "U.S. Conducts First Raid on Terrorists in Pakistan". ABC News. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  12. ^ uploader. "Associated Press Of Pakistan ( Pakistan's Premier NEWS Agency ) – ISAF troops kill seven innocent civilians in NWA: ISPR". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Pentagon may step up raids in Pakistan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  14. ^ Baqir Sajjad Syed. "Protest lodged with US ambassador". Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  15. ^ "BBC NEWS – South Asia – Pakistan fury over 'US assault'". Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Pakistan vows to defend its frontiers after deadly US raid". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Pakistan reserves right to retaliate: Gen Tariq". Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Pakistan blocks fuel supply route to Western forces". Retrieved 14 December 2014.