Suspected US Drone Kills Senior Militant in Pakistan

Posted February 9th, 2012 at 8:40 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistani intelligence sources say a U.S. drone strike in northwest Pakistan has killed a senior militant with links to al-Qaida.

Badar Mansoor was killed in the attack early Thursday at a house in Miran Shah, the main town in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal agency. His death was confirmed by members of the Pakistani Taliban.

Officials say Mansoor led a group of Taliban fighters in the region and had close ties to al-Qaida. He was allegedly involved in a number of attacks throughout Pakistan.

Four other militants were also killed in the missile strike.

It was the second such attack in northwest Pakistan in as many days.

Pakistan's northwest border region is home to both Pakistani and Afghan Taliban fighters.

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama publicly acknowledged for the first time that the United States uses drone strikes against militants in Pakistan.

Mr. Obama defended the operations, which have greatly increased during his administration, saying they are used for “very precise, precision strikes” in the fight against al-Qaida.

Pakistan rejects the attacks as a violation of its sovereignty.

The Washington-based New America Foundation says drone strikes in Pakistan have killed between 1,700 and 2,700 people in the past eight years.

Drone strikes have picked up in northwest Pakistan after an apparent six-week slowdown following the November 26 NATO attack that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops along the Afghan border. That attack plunged U.S.-Pakistan relations to a new low.