|Pakistan says US drone kills key Taliban militant
Pakistani warlord Mullah Nazir, who sent men to fight NATO troops in Afghanistan, was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan along with five loyalists, local security officials said.
The Taliban militant was the key commander in South Waziristan, part of Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt considered a base for Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamist militants, and a powerful elder in the Wazir tribe, AFP reports.
A US drone fired two missiles at his vehicle in the Sar Kanda area of Birmil in Pakistan's northwestern tribal district of South Waziristan and two of his most senior deputies were among those killed, the Pakistani officials said.
“Mullah Nazir and five associates died on the spot,’’ one of the officials said.
The official said the attack happened at 10:35 pm local time yesterday, but that it had taken time to confirm the reports.
Nazir, who was wounded in a suicide attack in South Waziristan on November 29, confined his militant activities to Afghanistan, where he opposed the presence of US and NATO troops fighting an 11-year Afghan Taliban insurgency.
He, as well as North Waziristan commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, was understood to be close to the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, a faction of the Afghan Taliban blamed for some of the most high-profile attacks in Afghanistan.
Another Pakistani security official said Nazir and his fighters were targeted as they were trying to swap vehicles when their double cabin pick-up encountered a mechanical fault. Two of his influential deputies Atta Ullah and Rafey Khan were among those killed, the official added.