WASHINGTON: Senior US Administration officials, talking to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Janbaz Zadran aka Jamil, a Haqqani network leader, was killed in Miranshah, North Waziristan earlier on Thursday.
Although US officials did not specify the circumstances around Zadran’s death, a drone strike earlier on Thursday in Miranshah corresponds with the confirmation.
(Read: US drones strike in North, South Waziristan)
The US official said that “Janbaz played a central role in helping the Haqqani network attack US and coalition targets in Kabul and southeastern Afghanistan."
According to US officials, he was the most senior leader in the Haqqani network that was 'taken off the battlefield'.
Another senior US official told The Express Tribune that “Janbaz played key roles in resupplying the Haqqani network, and in ensuring that militants in Afghanistan had access to the Miranshah-based leadership.”
Relations between Pakistan and the US went through another rough patch after the now retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen accused the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of maintaining links with the Haqqani network.
Earlier this week, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the relationship with Pakistan is different for a number of reasons, "We are fighting a war in their country".
(Read: Situation in Pakistan to remain volatile: Panetta)