Drone strike kills top Pakistani militant

Jan. 3, 2013 at 7:22 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A U.S. unmanned aircraft strike killed a Pakistani militant commander and five others in a northwestern tribal region, security officials said Thursday.

The drone strike occurred Wednesday and targeted the vehicle of Maulvi Nazir in the Angoor Adda area in South Waziristan, The New York Times reported.

"He has been killed. It is confirmed," a senior Pakistani intelligence officer said. "The vehicle he was traveling in was hit."

Among the five other people killed was one of Nazir's key aides, officials said.

In North Waziristan Thursday, at least four people were killed when their vehicle was hit by a drone strike, the Times said. No other information was immediately available.

Nazir operated out of the western area of the South Waziristan tribal region, leading the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe, officials said. His followers regularly participated in attacks on U.S. forces across Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

Unlike other Taliban factions, Nazir's fighters battled in Afghanistan and did not attack Pakistani military or government targets, the Times said. He was linked with Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a leading warlord in North Waziristan, who also didn't focus on Pakistani targets.

Asad Munir, the intelligence leader in Peshawar, told the Times Nazir's death could spark violence.

"A dangerous scenario for Pakistani military would be joining of hands of Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazir supporters with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan," Munir said.

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