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Jan 8, 2013 Comments Off on 2 More Drone Strikes In N. Waziristan Aimed At Taliban Leadership, Year Total Now At 6 spratico

Long War Journal – The US conducted two more airstrikes in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today, killing eight “militants” in an area known to host al Qaeda and other foreign terrorist groups.

Just after midnight, the CIA-operated, remotely piloted Predators or the more deadly Reapers first struck a compound in the village of Haider Khel near the town of Mir Ali. Eight missiles were fired at the compound, which was thought to be owned by an “important Taliban leader,” The Nation reported; however, it is unclear if he was killed in the strike. Five people are reported to have been killed. A Pakistani security official told AFP that four “militants” were killed in the strike.

The US drones then fired several more missiles at a compound in the nearby village of Eissu Khel. Three people were reported killed in the strike, but it is unclear if they were militants or civilians.

The US has now launched six drone strikes in Pakistan this year. Three of the strikes have taken place in North Waziristan, and the other three in South Waziristan, another safe haven for al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terror groups.

In a strike on Jan. 3, the US killed Mullah Nazir, the leader of a Taliban group in South Waziristan who was closely allied with Bahadar, al Qaeda, and the Afghan Taliban. In one of two strikes on Jan. 6, the US also killed Wali Mohammed, a Taliban commander who is said to have directed suicide operations for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.

Last year, the US launched 46 strikes in Pakistan, according to data compiled by The Long War Journal. In 2011, the US launched 64 strikes; in 2010, when the program was at its peak, there were 117 strikes.

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