US drone strike kills Mullah Nazir: Sources

Published: January 3, 2013

Taliban commander's deputy Ratta Khan also killed in South Waziristan. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: A US drone strike killed Taliban commander Maulvi Nazir Wazir, also known as Mullah Nazir, his deputy and eight others in Wana, intelligence sources and tribal leaders said Thursday.

Nazir from the Wazir tribe, was killed on Wednesday night when missiles struck a house in Angoor Adda, near the capital of Wana, South Waziristan, near the Afghan border, seven intelligence sources and two residents from his tribe said.

His deputy, Ratta Khan, was also killed, three sources said.

He favoured attacking American forces in Afghanistan rather than Pakistani soldiers in Pakistan, a position that put him at odds with some other Pakistan Taliban commanders.

Nazir was wounded in a bombing in November, widely believed to be as a result of his rivalries with other Taliban commanders.

Shortly after the bombing, his Wazir tribe told the Mehsud tribe, related to Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, to leave the area.

The Pakistani army has clawed back territory from the Taliban since launching a military offensive in 2009.

Intensified drone strikes have also killed many senior Taliban leaders, including Mehsud’s predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, in 2009.

Drone strikes have dramatically increased since US President Barack Obama took office. There were only five drone strikes in 2007, peaking at 117 in 2010, then down to 46 last year.

Most of the strikes hit militants although civilians have also been killed. Rights groups say that some residents are so afraid of the strikes they don’t want to leave their homes.

Data collected from news reports by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism say that between 2,600-3,404 Pakistanis have been killed by drones, of which 473-889 were reported to be civilians.

It is difficult to verify civilian casualties because Taliban fighters often seal off the sites of drone strikes immediately.

Some Pakistanis say the drone strikes are an infringement of their national sovereignty and have called for them to stop.

Others, including some residents of the tribal areas along the Afghan border, say they are killing Taliban commanders who have terrorized the local population.

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Reader Comments (47)

  • Ricky
    Jan 3, 2013 - 2:13AM

    Have a very happy New Year TTP. You thought we forgot about you!

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  • Baq Du Babba
    Jan 3, 2013 - 4:34AM

    Do you terrorists still regard the US as a “paper tiger?” Bin Laden told you that. The instant you allowed the vile terrorists to set up their base in your land, you signed up to a century of missiles reigning down on your heads.

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  • Mirza
    Jan 3, 2013 - 10:44AM

    A great news for the victims of these terrorists. It is a poetic justice that killers are being killed, yet their apologists and rightwing supporters are going to talk only about drones targeting the innocent civilians. The world and Pakistan is a much better place without these terrorists.

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  • Born Political
    Jan 3, 2013 - 10:49AM

    This isn’t pleasing attack at all, given that Mullah nazir was fighting against America mostly, and he was not in favor of fighting against Pakistan. Now beasts from TTP mehsud and other groups will have more power and no stopping to attack us.

    @Baq Du Babba, If US is not paper tiger, why a superpower equipped with drones and missiles keep getting targeted by Taliban-on-the-run.Recommend

  • Lalai
    Jan 3, 2013 - 10:50AM

    Moment of truth. 2014 is fast approaching and it looks now that the Americans are pulling the plug on Taliban now.

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  • Nadir
    Jan 3, 2013 - 10:51AM

    Unleash sympathy for terrorists!

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  • sars
    Jan 3, 2013 - 10:53AM

    Good riddance to one of the terrible menaces causing so much death and destruction all over our poor country.
    This is not about Islam , these monsters are only fighting for power. We need to weed them out and stop their funding and try to get back to a normal life.

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  • Usman
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:02AM

    @Ricky: Umm, firstly, he wasn’t in the TTP, he was against the TTP, That is why he was targeted. Secondly, he wasn’t fighting against the Pakistan army and was openly against TTP

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  • Javed Afridi
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:15AM

    So US presents it’s New Year gift to TTP. Looks like more of a reward for the recent brazen attacks on Peshawar Airport and assassination of Bashir Ahmad Bilour.

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  • abc
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:19AM

    Thank you America! Please keep killing these animals.

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  • I-umaid
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:22AM

    US only target Taliban who are not fighting with Pak Army…..

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  • Enlightened
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:22AM

    Well, his killing was on the cards as he had grown too big and started dictating his own terms in the region bypassing military and intelligence agencies. Military hasn’t learnt any lessons so far that no militant group whether in Pakistan or Afghanistan shall act as its proxies for ever, once they have become strong enough to take on their mentors. India quickly learnt from the LTTE debacle and even helped SL in eliminating this deadly outfit, Pakistan has to do the same or perish.

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  • Chimichanga
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:35AM

    @Ricky:
    FYI he was anti-TTP.

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  • Naveed Javed
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:37AM

    Good Shot!

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  • Ahmed
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:37AM

    @Ricky:

    He was anti-TTP. This attack shows real agenda of America. They want to remove or destroy pro-Pakistani elements and are protecting anti-Pakistan elements.

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  • Gratgy
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:47AM

    @Ahmed
    He was anti-TTP. This attack shows real agenda of America.

    Read the article again
    He favoured attacking American forces in Afghanistan rather than Pakistani soldiers in Pakistan

    Why should the Americans not attack him when he attacks them while hiding in his sanctuary in Pakistan?

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  • Good
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:56AM

    thanks for getting rid of these animals. good job

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  • numbersnumbers
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:59AM

    @Ahmed:
    And of course you can provide some credible sources to prove that the Americans are “protecting anti-Pakistani elements”! NOT!

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  • Saleem
    Jan 3, 2013 - 12:13PM

    The only good taliban are the one’s that are dead. Their supporters and sympathisers deliberately try to fudge the facts. It is time the US considered extending the drone operations beyond the tribal areas.

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  • Shanzay Khan
    Jan 3, 2013 - 12:17PM

    As a Pakistani, this news make me happy. Happy New Year TTP!
    I hope you all die out faster and leave Pakistani public alone. No more suicide bombings will be the happiest day of my life!

    Long Live Pakistan.

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  • KH
    Jan 3, 2013 - 12:27PM

    @Enlightened:
    If i am not misunderstood you are saying India helped Sirilanka to tackle the Tamil Tigers debacle….LOL….

    Pakistan is the one provided them with tanks etc.

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  • Fahad
    Jan 3, 2013 - 12:31PM

    He was anti ttp taliban who was fighting the us forces..ttp will conquer his area too& will make it a launching pad to attack pak..

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  • Aijaz Haider
    Jan 3, 2013 - 12:53PM

    Why is TTP not being targeted by Pakistan and US military?

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  • Feroz
    Jan 3, 2013 - 1:01PM

    Good riddance of bad rubbish. Now time to take out Hafiz Gul Bahadur and other Al Qaeda linked warlords victimizing people.

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  • Paindoo
    Jan 3, 2013 - 1:17PM

    It is tragic that USA is in all-out efforts to weed out any sympathizer of Pakistan.

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  • Muzaffar
    Jan 3, 2013 - 1:36PM

    fools he was not in TTP…..he was against TTP

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  • David_Smith
    Jan 3, 2013 - 1:52PM

    Ricky, this guy was a “good” Taliban, against the TTP, fighting ISAF in Afghanistan. So the drone strike.

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  • zeeshan sheikh
    Jan 3, 2013 - 1:53PM

    The intelligence of liberals <<<<< 0

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  • Yoghurt lover
    Jan 3, 2013 - 1:56PM

    @KH who writes “If i am not misunderstood you are saying India helped Sirilanka to tackle the Tamil Tigers debacle….LOL….

    Pakistan is the one provided them with tanks etc.”

    Are you stuck in a dream world like in the movie inception? Somebody should jolt you up to reality.Recommend

  • RAW is WAR
    Jan 3, 2013 - 2:33PM

    Pakistani asset, completely depreciated.

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  • Jan 3, 2013 - 3:52PM

    The fact is that drones are great snage in the way success of peace process.Pakistan under the efforts of clean the way leading to peace in the region
    Nazir’s death would effect peace struggles and creat counter productive,there are also chances of reconciliation in between tribes militant factions.
    The situation would not be favourable for Pakistan and other allies
    Sacrifies are being offered by Pakistan,please let them do
    The day would come Pakistan would success its sincere efforts because sincere efforts does not go wast.

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  • Chrome
    Jan 3, 2013 - 5:49PM

    So, he was a “good” Taliban!

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  • hate speech
    Jan 3, 2013 - 6:00PM

    how many of the commentors in fact knew Mullah Nazir? a week ago a surveillance drone, with Pakistani flag and Made in US tag, crashed in Wana, the stronghold of Mullah Nazir, hours after [Army and ISI open a new war for the nation]…..

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  • Iron hand
    Jan 3, 2013 - 6:15PM

    Amazing that there are people still making the “good Taliban, bad Taliban” distinction. Don’t you see that terrorists are terrorists? The “good” Taliban have murdered thousands of civilians indiscriminately, have targeted woman and children with bombs, have attacked buses, shopping areas, places of worship, etc. You think because they are murdering Afghans civilians and not Pakistani civilians that their methods are acceptable and they should be left alone? Herein lies the problem with Pakistan.

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  • PakArmySoldier
    Jan 3, 2013 - 7:27PM

    Huge news! Congratulations to all devout Pakistanis.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jan 3, 2013 - 7:29PM

    @Iron hand:
    Many in Pakistan are happy to lose both eyes if the enemy loses one eye. This is the reason they make distinction between good taliban and bad taliban or good terrorists and bad terrorists.

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  • g
    Jan 3, 2013 - 7:42PM

    There were reports of a Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan(TTP) commander Faisal, affiliated with the Hakimullah group, being killed in the strike along with two uzbek militants, sources said.

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  • g
    Jan 3, 2013 - 7:43PM

    How can so many of you be so blind? The US is not killing pro-Pak militants. IT is killing anti-US militants. They just happen to have safe haven in Pakistan where the govt and military turns a blind (and very short sighted) eye.

    The US has also killed many anti-Pak militants but you choose to ignore those strikes.

    For example, Dawn.Com reports that there were reports of a Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan(TTP) commander Faisal, affiliated with the Hakimullah group, being killed in the strike along with two uzbek militants, sources said.

    Recommend

  • scaryhairy
    Jan 3, 2013 - 7:45PM

    The drone attacks are not happening fast enough. We need to keep the pressure on these murderers, dont let them eat, sleep or go to the loo in peace. Its payback time. Pakistan Zindabad!

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  • Foolitics
    Jan 3, 2013 - 7:49PM

    We have been told repeatedly by Taliban apologists that drones only kill civilians. Is Mullah Nazir a civilian?

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  • Rex Minor
    Jan 3, 2013 - 8:11PM

    The talibans have one advantage over infidels; they keep cloning talibans in the most natural manner and have a reserve force which could last for several decades. Are their enemies have the endurance to last that long? If yest than the game of an eye for an eye shall go on.

    Rex Minor

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  • Thought
    Jan 3, 2013 - 8:17PM

    The enemy of Hakeemulllah Mehsud is taken out… as soon as TTP is being put into a corner, the big brother comes to his assistance.

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  • MK
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:11PM

    There are GOOD Taliban from both Pakistani and US prospective. There are ones that have been in Pakistani jails for years but are being released at US/Afghan request. This guy was GOOD from Pakistani prospective since he was against TTP and also fought against foreign militants in his region. None of the parties (US, Pakistan, Anti US Taliban, and Anti Pakistan Taliban) have any higher moral ground here. It is a war of interests. Afghan Taliban delegations were visiting US to make business deals a decade ago. If they agree to do business again, there is a good chance they can be handed over the power after 2014.

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  • Noman
    Jan 4, 2013 - 12:12AM

    @Mirza:
    Have you gone mad? can’t you read the whole story before commenting? Mulah Nazir was against TTP .Recommend

  • Chrome
    Jan 4, 2013 - 12:13AM

    Looks like the millions of dollars worth of aid declared a few days ago has begun to show results. Pakistani intelligence agencies are now expected to reveal the hideouts of more “good” talibans in the coming days.

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 4, 2013 - 12:37AM

    The taliban, good or bad, when offers to negotiate with foreign force be it USA or Pakistan, becomes the target of assasination! The teutons, the romans and the vikingers lived by this rule and the talibans must follow the same path if they want to live on.

    Rex Minor

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  • Mirza
    Jan 4, 2013 - 2:00AM

    @Noman:
    I have never said that this dead terrorist was from TTP. However, a terrorist by any name is still a terrorist and he has no business waging a war on Pakistani people. Their very presence, armed to the teeth is danger to Pakistan. They change names and parties every now and then but every armed fanatic terrorist is our enemy no matter what their names are and should be eliminated from our holy land. I never realized that the death of terrorist would irk some.
    Regards,
    M

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