Sunday, February 12, 2012

US drone in Pakistan kills 'al-Qaeda ally'

aljazeera | The second US drone attack in two days in Pakistan's North Waziristan region has killed four people, including a senior militant commander with links to al-Qaeda, Pakistani intelligence officials and Taliban sources said.

Badar Mansoor, leader of a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed on Thursday in the strike in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border.

"He was living in a small rented house with his wife and children in Miranshah. He, his wife and two other members of his
family died on the spot," a Pakistani Taliban commander told Reuters. He declined to be identified.

Pakistani officials painted Mansoor as al-Qaeda's chief in Pakistan.

"He died in the missile attacks overnight in Miranshah. His death is a major blow to al-Qaeda's abilities to strike in Pakistan," a senior official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

Intelligence officials said the death toll could rise because buildings next to the one targeted were also damaged and people could have been there.

On Wednesday, a US drone aircraft fired missiles at a compound in a village near Miranshah, killing 10 suspected fighters, Pakistani officials and villagers said.

The Central Intelligence Agency drone programme was apparently halted after a November NATO cross-border air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, sparking fury in Pakistan.

The attacks with the unmanned aircraft in Pakistan's northwestern ethnic tribal areas along the Afghan border were resumed on January 10.