Key rebel leader among 9 dead in Waziristan strike
ISLAMABAD (PAN): Nine militants, including a top Pakistani insurgent leader, were killed in a US drone strike in the South Waziristan tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, officials said on Saturday.
The missile raid took place late on Friday night in Shewakai Naraye, 10 kilometres from Wana, the South Waziristan agency headquarters, said political administration official Syeda Jan Wazir.
It was not immediately clear whether the victims were Pakistani or foreign fighters, he told Pajhwok Afghan News from Wana.
An Al Qaeda-linked Pakistani terrorist leader was among the dead, a Pakistani news channel reported. Ilyas Kashmiri, the Harkatul Jihad Al Islami chief, was the target of the drone strike, DawnNews quoted locals as saying.
An unnamed intelligence source told the channel they were trying to retrieve and photograph the bodies. He was sure that Kashmiri, whose group was designated as terrorist by the US, was among the dead, the official said.
"We confirm our leader Ilyas Kashmiri was killed along with other companions," Abu Hanzla Kashmiri, identifying himself as the groups spokesman, said in a statement. He warned of all-out assaults on Americans.
The US drone fired five missiles into a house, destroying it and damaging several other houses, said a resident of the area, Zar Jan Mehsud. He claimed five of the victims were civilians with no links to armed groups.
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