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Old 02-09-2012, 09:35 PM
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Asia Pacific




Drone Kills a Top Pakistani Militant, Official Says

By ISMAIL KHAN and DECLAN WALSH

Published: February 9, 2012




PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A prominent Pakistani militant commander was killed in an American drone strike at a house in Pakistan’s lawless northwest tribal region of North Waziristan on Thursday, a senior security official said.

The militant, Badar Mansoor, who led his own group of fighters, was affiliated with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan — an umbrella organization representing the many shades of Pakistani militants — and Al Qaeda, the official said.
“He was one of the main militant commanders out there,” said the official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Mr. Mansoor, said to be in his late 20s, was among five people killed after two missiles struck the house in Miram Shah, the capital of the North Waziristan tribal agency.

A local official in Miram Shah who spoke on the condition of anonymity said he also believed Mr. Mansoor had been killed.

The strike comes as fraught relations between Pakistan and the United States, which have been virtually frozen since American warplanes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in a disputed border attack in November, have been slowly warming. Mr. Mansoor has been accused of attacks that have killed dozens of Pakistanis, and by mid-evening Pakistani officials had not spoken out against the strike.

A local resident said he was woken by two loud explosions around 4 a.m. on Thursday. Militants rushed to the site immediately after the attack to clear the rubble and retrieve the bodies, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It was only the second drone strike in Miram Shah since the campaign started in 2004 — the first occurred last November — suggesting that the C.I.A. has expanded its targeting “box” in the tribal belt to include more densely populated areas, which had been previously avoided.
Tehrik-i-Taliban, which controls large areas of North and South Waziristan, issued no statement on the drone strikes, but reports of Mr. Mansoor’s death circulated among local residents.
Amir Rana, a militancy expert based in Islamabad, said Mr. Mansoor was an ethnic Punjabi who started his militant activities with Harkat ul Mujahideen, a jihadi group with links to Pakistani intelligence, fighting in Indian-occupied Kashmir in the 1990s.

In recent years he moved to North Waziristan, where he headed a faction of Punjabi Taliban fighters that used their base in the tribal area to orchestrate suicide bombings and kidnappings across Pakistan.

Mr. Rana said officials believed Mr. Mansoor had been behind an attack on a Sufi shrine in Lahore in 2010. The police in Karachi accused him of kidnappings and bank robberies.
It was the second drone strike in as many days in North Waziristan. On Wednesday missiles struck a house in Spilga village, killing nine people, whom the security official described as Qaeda associates.
North Waziristan is home to an array of Pakistani and foreign militant groups including Al Qaeda, but Pakistan has resisted pressure from the United States to undertake a military operation there.
Islamabad has closed NATO supply routes into Afghanistan since the Nov. 26 attack on the Pakistani forces. In recent weeks the country’s political and military leaders have been engaged in a review of their relationship with Washington.

Recommendations from a parliamentary committee on Pakistan-United States relations are expected to go before the Parliament next week, news media reports said.

Last edited by WABA; 02-09-2012 at 09:38 PM..
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:24 AM
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Do these drones still stationed in Pak soil or?
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indian_sukhoi View Post
Do these drones still stationed in Pak soil or?
drones are still operated from pakistani soil from Shahbaz/Jacobabad base, even though US was asked to move out from the Shamsi base.
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