US airstrike kill Taliban group leader Maulavi Nazir
By Sadaf Shinwari - Thu Jan 03 2013, 10:14 am
Intelligence officials and local residents quoted by Reuters said, Maulvi Nazir Wazir, also known as Mullah Nazir, an important commander 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.
His deputy, Ratta Khan, was also killed, three sources said.
Maulavi favored attacking American forces in Afghanistan rather than Pakistani soldiers in Pakistan, a position that put him at odds with some other Pakistan Taliban commanders, Reuters reported.
He was also injured following a bomb blast last November due an attack 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 covert US drone strikes are publicly criticized by the Pakistani government as a violation of sovereignty but American officials believe they are a vital weapon in the war against Islamist militants.
A report commissioned by legal lobby group Reprieve in September estimated that between 474 and 881 civilians were among 2,562 to 3,325 people killed by drones in Pakistan between June 2004 and September 2012.