Key Pakistani Taliban commander killed: report

14:51, February 26, 2010      

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Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Qari Zafar was reportedly killed as death toll from Wednesday's U.S. missile attack in North Waziristan rose to 11, local media reported Friday.

On Wednesday night, eight persons were reportedly killed when a U.S. drone fired three missiles at Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border. Two missiles hit a compound in Dargi Mandi village while the third struck a vehicle.

Qari Zafar was perceived as a dangerous Taliban commander in Pakistani tribal areas and he carried 5 million U.S. dollars as head money.

Majority of the victims in the attack are belonging to Badar Mansoor Group faction of Taliban, also known as Punjabi Taliban active in parts of Pakistan.

On the day the attacks took place, some local and foreign media were reporting that the strike targeted a stronghold of the Haqqani network, a major Taliban faction battling against Western forces in Afghanistan. A similar strike last week in the same area killed a son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the leader of the group.

But another son of Haqqani, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is a much more high-profile target of the U.S. drones because he has effectively taken over leadership of the militant faction from his elderly father.

The Haqqani faction does not clash Pakistani government and is blamed to send fighters across the border into Afghanistan where thousands of U.S.-led NATO soldiers have been fighting insurgents for years.

The area in North Waziristan became focus of the U.S. attacks when a CIA base in Afghanistan was targeted last year killing seven high profile U.S. intelligence operatives. The attack against CIA was attributed to Haqqani networks believed to have based in the area.

Source: Xinhua
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