Thursday, January 03, 2013

DTN News - PAKISTAN NEWS: Senior Pakistan Militant Reported Dead In Strike

DTN News - PAKISTAN NEWS: Senior Pakistan Militant Reported Dead In Strike
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Tom Wright - WSJ
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 3, 2013: A U.S. drone strike killed Mullah Nazir, a Pakistani militant leader who maintained a truce with the Pakistan army but U.S. commanders said cooperated with Afghan Taliban fighters in attacks on U.S. troops, according to news reports.

Mr. Nazir was one of nine people killed in the strike on a house in a village in the Pakistani territory of South Waziristan, the Associated Press reported, citing Pakistani security officials. Another strike hit a vehicle in North Waziristan, killing four people, the AP said.

In Washington, U.S. officials stopped short of confirming Mr. Nazir's death, but said his elimination would be a "significant blow."

"It would be helpful not just to the United States, but also to our Pakistani partners and the Afghans," said George Little, the Pentagon press secretary. "This is someone who has a great deal of blood on his hands.…This would be a major development."

Mr. Nazir's militant organization controls areas of South Waziristan that border Afghanistan. He used that position to team up with Afghan Taliban fighters battling coalition troops across the border, U.S. commanders said.

Mr. Nazir refrained from attacking Pakistani troops under a truce that held for the past four years, said Imtiaz Gul, author of "Pakistan Before and After Osama."

That allowed Pakistan's army to concentrate on targeting the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, known as the Pakistan Taliban, a militant group that regularly attacked government, military and civilian targets. In 2009, the army invaded South Waziristan and largely pushed out the group, also many of whose fighters found shelter in North Waziristan and other tribal regions.

Pakistan's truce with Mr. Nazir, who led the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe, was an attempt by the government to show progress in bringing South Waziristan back under the writ of the state after years of lawlessness, Mr. Gul said.

In recent months, the military has allowed hundreds of refugees from the fighting in 2009 to return to South Waziristan and has been showcasing new schools, roads and other infrastructure.

But Mr. Nazir also continued to allow foreign militants to take shelter in his territory, undercutting any chance for long-term stability in the region, Mr. Gul said. Those militants, he said, likely included Arab members of al Qaeda who are believed to have taken part in attacks on Pakistani targets.

"It was a double game he was playing," Mr. Gul said. "I don't think the Pakistanis would be annoyed" by his killing.

Pakistan's military has publicly condemned U.S. drone strikes. But Pakistan military leaders also have acknowledged cooperating on some attacks by giving intelligence on potential targets.

—Julian E. Barnes contributed to this article.
Corrections & Amplifications 
Imtiaz Gul is author of the book "Pakistan Before and After Osama." An earlier version of this article incorrectly gave the title as "Pakistan Before and After Obama."

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Tom Wright - WSJ
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

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