US drones strike in North, South Waziristan

Published: October 13, 2011

Security official says Jamil Haqqani was important Afghan commander of Haqqani network. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

MIRANSHAH: A second US drone strike on Thursday killed three people and injured four in the Bermal tehsil of South Waziristan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Another strike, earlier today, had killed a logistics commander in the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network and three other militants in North Waziristan, officials had said.

According to initial details, a US drone had fired two missiles on a compound in the area. There were also reports of firing in the area.

“US drones fired three missiles. Six militants were killed,” a Pakistani security official told AFP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Covert CIA drones are the United States’ chief weapon against Taliban and al Qaeda militants who use Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas as launchpads for attacks.

Earlier, an unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a compound in Dandey Darpakhel village, about seven kilometres (four miles) north of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district.

“Jamil Haqqani, an important Afghan commander of Haqqani network was the target and was killed,” a Pakistani security official told AFP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

A Pakistani intelligence official in Miranshah confirmed the killing and said Jamil was in his thirties.

“He was working as a coordinator of the Haqqani network in North Waziristan,” the official said.

The official said the three other people killed in the strike were Haqqani’s fighters, guarding the commander in the compound.

Jamil is understood to have been responsible for logistics in North Waziristan, where the group’s overall leadership is believed to be based.

Officials said he was not a relative of Jalaluddin, the Afghan warlord who founded the Taliban faction, or his son Sirajuddin who now runs the network but that he was “very close to the top commanders including Sirajuddin”.

The United States blames the Haqqanis for fuelling the 10-year insurgency in Afghanistan; attacking US-led Nato troops and working to destabilise the Western-backed government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Washington last month significantly stepped up demands on Islamabad to take action against the network and cut alleged ties to the group.

US missiles have destroyed dozens of other Haqqani network compounds and a sprawling madrassa in 2008, killing dozens of fighters, officials say.

Mohammed Haqqani, brother of Sirajuddin, was killed in a US drone attack in Dandey Darpakhel, the same North Waziristan village as Thursday’s strike, in February 2010.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this week the United States is waging “war” in Pakistan against militants, referring to the covert CIA campaign that the US government declines to discuss publicly.

Speaking at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, the former CIA director said the relationship between Washington and ally Islamabad was “complicated”.

“And admittedly, there are a lot of reasons for that. We are fighting a war in their country,” Panetta said.

Around 30 US drone strikes have been reported in Pakistan since Navy SEALs found and killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden near the country’s top military academy in Abbottabad, close to the capital, on May 2.

Last month, the outgoing top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency and accused Pakistan of supporting attacks on US targets in Afghanistan.

Islamabad officially denies any support for Haqqani activities, but has nurtured Pashtun warlords for decades as a way of influencing events across the border and offsetting the might of arch-rival India.

The Pakistani military says it is too over-stretched fighting local Taliban to acquiesce to American demands to launch an offensive against the Haqqanis, a battle that not all observers think the Pakistani military would win.

But the humiliation of the bin Laden raid is thought to have contributed to debate within the military about the merits of traditional support for militant groups.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Mirza
    Oct 13, 2011 - 8:57AM

    Jazak Allah, nice to see the birdies are busy taking care of the terrorists and our strategic assets. More power to the birdies and great work.

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  • csmann
    Oct 13, 2011 - 9:50AM

    where are the mullahs,and the superior technology of pakistan; stop these drones!!

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  • TruthHurts
    Oct 13, 2011 - 11:06AM

    @Mirza
    So easy for you to smirk from the comfort of our home and naively assume each and every statistic is a terrorist. Have you read the Guardian lately and other respected research reports, which claim (from actually analysed data of these strikes) that these so called precision strikes successes are exaggerated in the media and have heavy civilian tolls which are covered? Unless ofcourse that is also acceptable to you.

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  • saba kamran
    Oct 13, 2011 - 11:15AM

    If the drones have destroyed a militant camp then this is certainly a good news. Pakistan and America should work together and try to dismantle the Haqqani network and as well as tehrik e Taliban. If we defeat these militants then only we can ensure a safe region and can also achieve global peace.

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  • Nasir
    Oct 13, 2011 - 12:18PM

    ” A US drone strike on Thursday killed a logistics commander in the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network”
    I am highly impressed about the depth of information CIA has about the strike.

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  • Hassan
    Oct 13, 2011 - 12:19PM

    @ mirza, what can you expect from people who would wish death upon anyone as long as they are presumably safe!!!Recommend

  • Amjad
    Oct 13, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Great News. The only hope left to eliminate these brutal terrorists is US drone . Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Oct 13, 2011 - 12:30PM

    @TruthHurts:
    In equal measure, if not more, the number of “innocents” has also been greatly exaggerated. It is a known fact that the terrorists use human shields to protect themselves. What do you do then?

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  • Oct 13, 2011 - 12:37PM

    Vienna,13-10-2011
    Mind you there is no declaration of war by the U.S against
    Pakistan. But Leon Panetta has acknowledged the reality
    of an undeclared war on Pakistani soil apparently with the
    co-operation of the troika rulers of the sovereign land of the
    pure. I do think when history is made again by the eradication
    of Haqqani network, announcement would be made just like
    the elimination of Osama Bin Laden. Indications are the
    time schedule would suit President Obama´s re-election.
    Any bet for a change by match fixing tools not meant
    fools ?
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Tony Singh
    Oct 13, 2011 - 1:11PM

    Haqannis were supposed to be in Afganistan.(That’s what Pakistan Govt. told the world) How did this Haqanni land up here? Was his GPS not working?

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  • Brasstacks
    Oct 13, 2011 - 1:40PM

    @TruthHurts:
    So easy for you to smirk from the comfort of our home and naively assume each and every statistic is a terrorist As if each and every one killed by the terrorists is involved in some anti-Islam war? If you do not like this type of anti terrorist operation by the Americans, then suggest some better alternatives.

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  • Kirmani
    Oct 13, 2011 - 1:52PM

    @TruthHurts:
    Yes,some civilian loss should be acceptable. If the civilians harbor terrorists, they should be ready to accept the same fate.
    Look where the fundamentalists and their supporters have taken the country now. Need of the hour is moderate leaders who can guide the country to peace and prosperity, and who can get rid of all the terrorists and mullahs who support them.

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  • Sad but true
    Oct 13, 2011 - 2:24PM

    @TruthHurts: ‘precision strikes successes are exaggerated in the media and have heavy civilian tolls’. Ever wondered why over 35,000 Pak have been killed. One suicide bomber in Karachi kills how many innocent lives. Yes, like you said, you too would be sitting in the comfort of your armchair.

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  • Zafar Karachiwala
    Oct 13, 2011 - 2:37PM

    Awesome. Keep bombing those terrorists back to the stone age. Absolutely Love it

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  • Roflcopter
    Oct 13, 2011 - 3:19PM

    I’m disappointed our army is allowing US to carry out such cowardly terrorist attacks.

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  • TruthHurts
    Oct 13, 2011 - 3:44PM

    @Kirmani, Pragmatist
    For someone who likes to call himself a pragmatist and thinks some civilian loss is acceptable you sure have a myopic view. Tell me how have the 1000′s of civilian lives lost in Pakistan and Afghanistan as collateral damage of the military operation helped achieve our goals? Have the Taleban been crushed in Afghanistan? Is the US managing to stabilize the country and win over the Afghan people? Have the military strategy including the drones in ANY way made the situation in the region better than it was more than 10 years ago? Why is the US seeking to approach talks with the Haqqanis and other militants, whilst bombing them? The ‘pragmatic’ reality is that none of the so called productive outcome you seem to be espousing has been achieve. The reality is front of everyone, and i agree its not a pleasant one, but it has to be accepted.Even the West is coming in terms with the reality than military solution only achieves short term goals. Stop stirring the hornets nest in Waziristan and focus on internal security that is urgently needed. Now that’s pragmatic!

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  • TruthHurts
    Oct 13, 2011 - 3:50PM

    @Sad but True
    From the comfort of my armchair I’m not call for more bloodshed and smirking at civilians. I think just like a solution is being negotiated in Afghanistan, the same should be done in Pakistan. Our military is stretched and like you rightly said civilian costs have been too high. We need to strengthen our internal security, cut short our losses, negotiate a lasting agreement. Military approach in both countries has only achieved short term goals hasn’t led to any paradigm shift as such.

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  • Ghaznavi
    Oct 13, 2011 - 5:08PM

    More drones strikes just help push more people to the folds of militants. US drones strategy has failed

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  • Cautious
    Oct 13, 2011 - 5:16PM

    You want to get rid of drone attacks? Simple solution — quit allowing terrorist to use Pakistan as sanctuary.

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  • Doctor
    Oct 13, 2011 - 6:38PM

    Great news.

    @ TruthHurts – clearly the truth hurts you most. Almost all the evidence says people in the Tribal Areas love drone strikes because they are far more accurate and limited in collateral damage than traditional military campaigns. Furthermore, most of the “civilians” killed are family members being used by the terrorists as human shields. If we do not stand against evil now, we will be like the Europeans who stood on the sidelines as Hitler conquered Europe.

    The fact of the matter is the war on terror won’t be “won” in a day. It’s a constant battle. Pakistan’s inability to truly commit is a huge part of the problem. Our “strategic assets” keep blowing up in our faces. People like Qadri are celebrated. Recommend

  • Antanu
    Oct 13, 2011 - 7:17PM

    @TruthHurts:
    dont bother…mirza is an antagonist imposter. Why bother about any one who is not ready to disclose his real name…

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  • Javed
    Oct 13, 2011 - 7:23PM

    @Roflcopter:
    I hope this disappointment is perpetual.

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  • ali
    Oct 13, 2011 - 8:42PM

    Shame on govt and the armed forces for not able to defend the country….

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  • Mirza
    Oct 14, 2011 - 12:44AM

    These terrorist have subjected Pakistani civilians to terror in the garb of religion. Pakistani army has failed to protect 35,000 innocent Pakistani deaths. What is the option left if we all don’t want to get killed by these terrorists while sitting like cowards? God has sent us the modern Ababils to kill these hardened killers and criminals. Who has been protecting innocent Pakistani civilians who have been terrorized and killed by these religious terrorists? Recommend

  • T
    Oct 14, 2011 - 12:25PM

    Shame on appreciating these extrajudicial killings. Who knows they were terrorists or innocents.

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