Six die in LAPD missile attack; suspect escapes

An LAPD helicopter fired two missiles yesterday into a crowded intersection in South Central LA today, killing 6 and injured 23 in an attack on the vehicle of a suspected drug smuggler.

The target of the assassination attempt, Carlos Diaz, escaped with minor injuries, jumping from the Hummer moments before the first missile hit. A second missile followed within seconds, instantly killing Diaz's bodyguard and driver, and a mother and child in the car.

Included among the casualties were an elderly Israeli couple, prompting Prime Minister Sharon to advise the LAPD that he was "troubled" by the attack, and questioning whether such actions really served to increase LA's security.

Lawyers for the LAPD responded with a statement asserting that Los Angeles law enforcement agencies could simply not afford to wait until these criminals, or "ticking bombs", actually commit the acts they are plotting.

In a clarifying statement issued earlier today, Sharon appeared to back off his earlier criticism, due to the many complaints he received last night during a dinner sponsored by the powerful pro-LAPD lobby in Israel.

A poll taken soon after the failed assassination attempt revealed that 62% "agreed strongly" with the suggestion that Israel should immediately stop supplying the LAPD with helicopter gunships and missiles until their policy of so-called "targeted killings" is repudiated.