Drone Strike Kills Top Taliban Commander in Pakistan

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Maulvia Nazir, a Pakistani tribal leader with links to the Afghan Talbian, was killed on Wednesday night along with 12 other militants in two U.S. drone attacks near the Afghanistan border.  According to various reports, Nazir was killed after the car he was riding in was hit by missiles in the district of South Waziristan. As many as nine people reportedly died in that attack, and four others were killed in a separate strike in North Waziristan, though exact details of the attacks and the people who died were difficult to confirm. The news came from Pakistani intelligence officials and was not confirmed by United States.

Nazir was a leader of the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe that repeatedly attacked U.S. forces on the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan. According to The New York Times, he may have signed a pact with Pakistani government and refrained from attacking their soldiers and bases, but instead concentrated on the war in Afghanistan and was believed to be aligned with that nation's Haqqani terrorist network. His death could end the pact and possibly lead to reprisals if militants believed that Pakistan authorized the American strike. Nazir survived a suicide bomb attack back in November.

The attack also shows that 2013 will likely bring just as many U.S. drone attacks in the region as 2012 did. Perhaps even more as the United States tries to draw down its forces in Afghanistan  while continuing to pursue the war on terror.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.