`3 top Taliban militants among nine killed in drone attack`
Last Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 23:33
Peshwar: At least nine insurgents, including three top Taliban militants, have been killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan's lawless North Waziristan tribal region, considered a stronghold of the Haqqani network.

Missiles fired from the drone targeted a compound and a vehicle in Dargah Mandi area, several kilometres north of Miranshah. The compound and the car were destroyed in yesterday's attack.

Among the nine insurgents killed included Qari Zafar, carrying a reward of USD 5 million, Bahadar Mansoor, head of Badar Mansoor group and Rana Afzal alias Noor Khan, sources said.

According to the sources, Rana Afzal alias Noor Khan was sought by the police in the suicide bobming on the FIA headquarters building in Lahore last year.

The area where the drone attack occurred yesterday is located a short distance from the border with Afghanistan and is considered a stronghold of the Haqqani network, which targets US-led forces in the neighbouring country.

Muhammad Haqqani, a son of senior Afghan Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, was killed with three close associates in another US drone strike in North Waziristan on February 18.

The US stepped up drone attacks in North Waziristan after a suicide bomber killed seven CIA operatives at a forward base in neighbouring Khost province of Afghanistan in December.

Local residents said the US has carried out at least 15 drone strikes in North Waziristan this year.

The US attacks come as Pakistani security agencies have captured three top Taliban commanders in recent weeks, including their number two Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar.


First Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 23:33

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