MIRAMSHAH/WANA: Ten persons, including a member of the Haqqani network, were reportedly killed in two separate US drone strikes in North Waziristan Agency and South Waziristan Agency.
The first attack was reported in Danday Darpakhel village near Miramshah, North Waziristan Agency, on Thursday in which four persons were killed. The slain official, Jalil Haqqani, was described as a coordinator, logistics operator and communications officer of the Haqqani network, described by the US authorities as one of the most dangerous militant groups in Afghanistan.
Jalil Haqqani, said to be in his early 30s, was killed in acompound attacked by two missiles fired by a CIA-operated drone. The three other men killed in the strike were described as suspected militants.
An earlier report said a vehicle was hit in the missile strike and Afghan refugees were killed in the attack. However, subsequent reports said a house was struck and four men including Jalil Haqqani were killed.
Sources close to the Haqqani network, however, denied that the slain man, Jalil, was linked to the group while intelligence sources said Jalil had links to the Haqqani network, which is led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, son of veteran Afghan mujahideen commander and former Taliban minister Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani.
Danday Darpakhel, a village sited seven kilometres away from Miramshah, has been repeatedly attacked by US drones. In an attack in February 2010, Muhammad Haqqani, a young son of Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, was killed while driving a vehicle. Another of his sons, Umar Haqqani, was killed fighting the US-led foreign forces in Khost province. In another drone strike in the past in Danday Darpakhel village where the Haqqani family lives, a sister of Jalaluddin Haqqani and some children and men were also killed.
In the other attack on Thursday, six persons were killed and three others sustained injuries when a US drone fired missiles at a vehicle and a house in Birmal tehsil of South Waziristan, tribal sources said.
Sources said the drone fired three missiles at the vehicle and the house in Zoba village in Birmal around noon. The attack by the CIA-operated drone left six persons dead and three others injured.
The drones kept flying in the area for sometime after the attack, which stopped locals from reaching the spot for rescue work. However, the injured were shifted to a nearby private clinic where their condition was stated to be serious.
Some sources said that all the dead were militants; four had links with the Mullah Nazeer-led group while two were from Afghanistan. After the incident, the local tribal elders held a meeting to condemn the attack.
Speaking on the occasion, Malik Muhammad Ali said innocent people were being killed in the drone attacks. “Drone attacks have created hatred against the US in the tribal region,” he added.