Monday, Sept 8, 2008
Missiles fired by U.S. drones killed 23 people, mostly relatives of a Taliban commander close to Osama bin Laden, in a region of Pakistan near the Afghan border on Monday, witnesses and intelligence officials said.
The missiles targeted a sprawling complex comprising a house and a religious school, or madrasa, founded by veteran Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani near Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal region.
Ten militants were killed in the strike.
“There were two drones and they fired three missiles,” said a resident of Dandi Darpakheil, the village which was hit.
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Those killed included one of the several wives of Haqqani, his sister-in-law, a sister, two nieces, eight grandchildren and a male relative. A son-in-law of Haqqani was wounded.
A senior intelligence official said the militants killed were Pakistani and Afghan Taliban but locals said five of them were low-ranking al Qaeda operatives, including three Arabs.
Haqqani is a veteran of the U.S.-backed Afghan war against the Soviet invasion in the 1970s and 1980s, and his extended family had been living in North Waziristan since then. Haqqani’s links with bin Laden go back to the late 1980s.
This article was posted: Monday, September 8, 2008 at 12:53 pm