LANDI KOTAL: At least eight suspected militants, including a senior figure for the newly created Indian branch of al Qaeda, were killed and several others were injured in two US drone strikes in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan on Saturday.
According to tribal sources, the drone struck a compound in Chancharano Kandaw of Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency on Saturday afternoon. The area in which the compound is located is dominated by Kokikhel clan of Afridi tribe.
The attack damaged several portions of the compound and left at least four dead and injured two others.
Reportedly, one of the dead included Sheikh Imran Ali Siddiqi, also known as Haji Shaikh Waliullah, who was a senior member of al Qaeda's new branch in the Indian subcontinent, announced by the group's chief Ayman al Zawahiri last month. Asim Omar was named as the branch’s chief, but he was not reported to be present at the site.
Siddiqi's death was also confirmed by the branch's purported spokesperson, Osama Mehmood.
Four suspected militants, including an important Tehreek-e-Taliban commander, were reportedly killed while another was injured on Saturday evening when a second US drone fired missiles at a vehicle in Shawal area of North Waziristan.
It was second attack of US spy planes in Pakistani territory in a single day.
According to an official of the political administration, the US drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in Margha area of Shawal which burst into flames. As a result of the strike, four suspected militants in the car were killed while one was injured.
The official added that reportedly TTP commander Muhammad Mustafa was among those killed in the strike. Others killed were foreigners, but their nationalities could not be immediately ascertained.
Locals rushed to the spot to rescue the vehicle’s occupants.
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