WASHINGTON: The Pentagon welcomed reports Thursday that Mullah Nazir was killed in a drone strike, saying his death would represent a "major development."
Local officials in Pakistan said Mullah Nazir, the main militant commander in South Waziristan, was taken out when an unmanned US aircraft fired two missiles at his vehicle.
But a Pentagon spokesman could not confirm the account.
"If the reports are true, then this would be a significant blow, and would be very helpful not just to the United States but also to our Pakistani partners," spokesman George Little told reporters.
Pakistani officials said the drone strike on Wednesday killed Nazir and five of his loyalists, including two senior deputies.