U.S. drone strike kills Taliban commander who had truce with Pakistani military
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An American drone strike in Pakistan killed a top Taliban commander who sent money and fighters to battle the United States in Afghanistan but had a truce with the Pakistani military, officials said on Thursday.
Although the death of Maulvi Nazir likely will affirm the necessity of the controversial U.S. drone program, it could cause more friction in tense relations with Pakistan because Nazir did not focus directly on Pakistani targets.
Nazir was killed when two missiles slammed into a house in a village in South Waziristan while he was meeting with supporters and fellow commanders. Eight other people were killed, according to five Pakistani security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
A Pakistani official said that although his government continues to object to the drone strikes, there is no objection in removing Nazir from the battlefield.
Despite his reported cooperation with the Pakistani government, Nazir was suspected to have aided groups that attack Pakistani troops, said a Pakistani official on condition of anonymity.
A U.S. official confirmed the death of Nazir, along with an unspecified number of “trusted deputies.”
Nazir and those killed were “directly involved in planning and executing cross-border attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan, as well as providing protection for al-Qaida fighters in South Waziristan,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe casualties resulting from CIA counter-terrorism actions.
Pentagon spokesman George Little described Nazir as “someone who has a great deal of blood on his hands.”
At least four people were killed in a separate drone strike on Thursday in the North Waziristan tribal region.
America's use of drones against militants in Pakistan has increased substantially under President Obama, and the program has killed a number of top militants in the past year.
The drone strikes, however, infuriate many Pakistanis who see them as a violation of their country's sovereignty.
Many Pakistanis complain that innocent civilians have been killed — a claim that the United States rejects.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Comets hold life building blocks
- Gunbattle kills 21 at Afghan wedding party
- Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa
- Dissension cracks Taliban leadership
- Firebombing kills Palestinian toddler, wounds family; Jewish settlers blamed
- ISIS suspected in abduction of Indian citizens in Libya
- Senate to grill United Nations agency chief Amano on Iran nuclear pact
- Al-Qaida group in Syria targeted by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes