US drone attacks in Pakistan kill Taliban relatives

U.S. drones have targeted the village several times and 23 people, many of the members of the Haqqani family, were killed in a strike there in September 2008.

US drone attacks in Pakistan kill Taliban relatives

A son of the leader of a major Taliban faction resisting Western forces in Afghanistan invasion has been killed in a missile strike by a U.S. drone in Pakistan, security officials said on Friday.

The killing of the son of veteran Afghan guerrilla commander Jalaluddin Haqqani came days after the arrest of the Afghan Taliban's top miliary strategist, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in a secret CIA raid in the city of Karachi.

A pilotless U.S. drone fired two missiles into a Haqqani network compound on Thursday in Pakistan's North Waziristan ethnic Pashtun tribal region on the Afghan border, killing three people.

Mohammad Haqqani, a son of Jalaluddin Haqqani was among the dead, Pakistani security officials said.

But another son of the elder Haqqani, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is a much more high-profile victim of the U.S. drones attacks.

"Mohammad Haqqani is a younger brother of Sirajuddin. He (Mohammad) was killed in the attack," a security official who declined to be identified told Reuters.

Jalaluddin Haqqani, who is in his 70s, has passed on the leadership of his faction to Sirajuddin.

The Haqqani faction does not operate in Pakistan but sends fighters across the border into Afghanistan from its stronghold in North Waziristan.

Thursday's drone strike was in Dandi Darpakhel village near North Waziristan's main town of Miranshah where many members of Haqqani's extended family have been living since the U.S.-backed Afghan jihad, or holy war, against Soviet forces in the 1980s.

Sirajuddin Haqqani was known to visit the village but another Pakistani intelligence agency official said he was not there at the time of the attack.

Residents and government officials also confirmed the death of Mohammad Haqqani.

U.S. drones have targeted the village several times and 23 people, many of the members of the Haqqani family, were killed in a strike there in September 2008.

"No handover to US"


Jalaluddin Haqqani has had close links with Pakistani intelligence, notably the military's main Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

Interior Minster Rehman Malik suggested Baradar might not be handed over to the United States. Asked by a reporter about the fate of Afghans arrested in Pakistan, Malik said they would be investigated for any crime in Pakistan.

If found innocent, they would be returned to their country and not the United States, he said.


Agencies

Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2010, 16:52
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