Friday, March 30, 2012

US Predator strike kills 4 'militants' in North Waziristan

Unmanned US Predator or Reaper strike aircraft killed four "militants" in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today. The strike is the first in more than two weeks.

The US drones fired a pair of missiles at a house in the bazaar in Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan, in the middle of the night, according to AFP. "The compound is located in the money changers market in the Miramshah commercial district," the news agency reported.

Pakistani intelligence official said that four "militants" were killed and two more were wounded. The Taliban are reported to be conducting recovery operations at the site of the attack, which is said to be "located in the money changers market."

No senior al Qaeda or Taliban leaders or fighters have been reported killed in today's attack.
Al Qaeda's external operations network has been a prime target of the covert US air campaign in Pakistan's tribal areas. The US has targeted al Qaeda and Taliban camps designated to train operatives holding foreign passports, while the leadership of the external operations branch has also been hit hard. Additionally, the drone program has targeted Taliban and other terror groups who attack NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

The Haqqani Network, a Taliban group that operates in North Waziristan as well as in eastern Afghanistan, administers the Miramshah area. Al Qaeda leaders and operatives, who are closely allied with the Haqqani Network, shelter in the area, as do other terror groups.

The US has added eight top leaders of the Haqqani Network, Including Sirajudin Haqqani, the terror group's operational commander, to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists [see LWJ report, UN adds 2 Haqqani Network leaders to terrorist list]. The Haqqani Network has not been officially designated as a terrorist group despite its overt support for al Qaeda and other terror groups.

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