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Drone strike kills Taliban commanders

  |   Oct. 28, 2011 at 1:27 AM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- At least five Taliban commanders, including their leader Mullah (Maulvi) Nazir, died in a drone strike in Pakistan's South Waziristan area, CBS News reported.

Quoting a Pakistani intelligence official and a Western diplomat, the report said those killed in the suspected U.S. strike Thursday included a brother of Nazir, whose group is blamed for fighting Pakistani troops posted in the area.

One Pakistani newspaper described Mullah Nazir as an influential Taliban leader whose group is also accused of attacking foreign troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

The drone attack had targeted a jeep in which the commanders were riding, the Pakistani intelligence official told CBS news.

"This is a significant loss to Mullah Nazir's faction," the official said.

CNN, quoting intelligence sources, reported there were two drone strikes Thursday, one in South Waziristan and the other in North Waziristan, killing a total of nine people.

The report said the South Waziristan strike killed Mullah Nazir and four others. The attack occurred in the Azam Warsak area near the border with Afghanistan.

The strike in North Waziristan targeted a hideout in the Mir Ali area, killing four suspected militants, CNN reported, quoting Pakistani intelligence officials. No other details were available.

CNN said South Waziristan's Azam Warsak was the site of the first Pakistani military operation against militants in 2002, which may have led to the creation of the Pakistani Taliban.

The latest attacks come after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Pakistan visit. She had strongly urged her hosts to take steps to fight the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network.

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