WASHINGTON – The Bush administration called Pakistan a valued ally in the war on terror Tuesday and pledged to continue pursuing Al Qaeda leaders like those targeted in an airstrike.
"Al Qaeda continues to seek to do harm to the American people," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "There are leaders that we continue to pursue and we will bring them to justice. The American people expect us to do so and that's what this president is committed to doing."
McClellan refused to discuss an attack Friday in the Pakistani village of Damadola in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Pakistani intelligence officials have said Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Usama bin Laden's top lieutenant, had been invited to a dinner to mark an Islamic holiday but did not show up and sent some aides instead.
The provincial government said at least four foreign terrorists were killed, along with 18 local people.
Asked if the United States would express regret if innocent civilians had been killed, McClellan said, "I think you've heard our comments about matters of that nature in the past. If I have anything additional to add, I will."