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US strike kills Afghan Taliban leader`s son in Pakistan

Last Updated: Friday, February 19, 2010 - 17:30

Islamabad: A son of senior Afghan Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani was among four militants killed in an overnight US air strike in Pakistan`s tribal region bordering Afghanistan, a security official said Friday.
Two missiles fired from a US drone struck a house and a car outside the building in the Dande Darpakhel area of North Waziristan district Thursday, killing four people.

"Informants have confirmed that one of the dead was Mohammad Haqqani (Jalaluddin Haqqani`s son)," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Dande Darpakhel is considered a hotbed of Taliban fighters linked to veteran militant commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, and his son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is running his father`s insurgent network.

It was still not clear whether Sirajuddin Haqqani was present at the attack site. The Haqqani network is believed to be one of the deadliest militant groups in Afghanistan.

Thousands of al Qaeda and Taliban militants fled to Pakistan`s tribal region after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Since then they have been using the lawless territory to plan and mount assaults on Western troops in Afghanistan.

Thursday`s drone attack was the fourth since Sunday. The US has stepped up its missile strikes, mostly targeting hideouts in North Waziristan, after a Jordanian double agent killed seven US secret agents in a suicide attack on their base in Afghanistan.

It also came days after Pakistani intelligence agents arrested the Afghan Taliban`s military chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the movement`s shadow governors for the Afghan provinces of Kunduz and Baghlan.

It is believed that many senior Taliban leaders have crossed into Pakistan following the launch of an ongoing offensive in the Afghan province of Helmand.


First Published: Friday, February 19, 2010 - 17:30

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