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Pakistani warlord's death a 'major development': US

Published on Jan 4, 2013 6:31 AM
 
Pro-Taliban Pakistani tribal leader Maulvi Nazir Wazir, also known as Mullah Nazir, speaks during a news conference in Wana, the main town of the South Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan in this April 20, 2007, file photo. Local officials in Pakistan said Nazir, the main militant commander in South Waziristan, was killed when an unmanned United States aircraft fired two missiles at his vehicle. The Pentagon welcomed the reports, saying his death would represent a "major development". -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon welcomed reports on Thursday that a prominent Pakistani warlord was killed in a drone strike, saying his death would represent a "major development". Local officials in Pakistan said Mullah Nazir, the main militant commander in South Waziristan, was killed when an unmanned United States (US) aircraft fired two missiles at his vehicle.

Pentagon spokesman George Little could not confirm this, but told reporters: "If the reports are true, then this would be a significant blow, and would be very helpful not just to the United States but also to our Pakistani partners". Nazir was known to send insurgents to Afghanistan to wage war on Nato-led troops and operated out of the tribal zone on the Afghan border where militants linked to the Taleban and Al-Qaeda have bases.

Pakistani officials said Wednesday's drone strike killed Nazir and five of his loyalists, including two senior deputies.

Nazir, one of the highest-profile drone victims in recent years, had a complicated relationship with the Pakistani government, having agreed to a peace deal with Islamabad in 2007.

 
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