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