PESHAWAR - At least eight militants, including a senior commander, were killed and several others injured in a drone strike in North Waziristan Agency and a bombing in South Waziristan on Friday.
Three suspected militants were killed and several others injured when missiles fired by a US drone struck a compound in Assokhel area of Mirali town in North Waziristan Agency. Officials in Miranshah said the drone fired two missiles on the building, while tribesmen said three people inside were killed and several others were injured. The identity of those killed could not be determined so far, but tribesmen said they included foreigners. Separately, five people, including leading militant commander Maulvi Abbas Zalikhel, were killed and nine others injured in a high-intensity bomb explosion in Wana, South Waziristan Agency. Official in Wana said unidentified men planted an improvised explosive device (IED) near the office of Maulvi Abbas inside the local vegetable market. The IED went off when Abbas and his security guards entered the office. The explosion killed Abbas, his son and three others. No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack so far, but locals and official believe it was the outcome of internal clashes and rifts amongst various militant groups. Abbas was a close relative of former militant commander Nek Mohammad, who was killed in the first-ever US drone attack on June 17, 2004. He had developed close links with militants from Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and was forced to leave Wana when local tribesmen constituted a peace lashkar with Mullah Nazir as its head in 2007.
All IMU militants were flushed away from Wana in March 2007. Abbas and the Uzbeks later shifted to Mehsud-dominated areas of South Waziristan. A few of months ago, a truce was reached between Mullah Nazir and Abbas and the latter returned to his native Wana town. However, both sides never trusted each other completely, and a number of anti-government militants were unhappy with the reconciliation. A couple of weeks ago, Maulvi Nazir was seriously injured in a suicide attack that killed eight people and injured more than 20.
US unmanned aircraft crashes in South Waziristan
An unmanned US aircraft, which was reportedly being used to target militant hideouts, crashed in Kaza Panga area of South Waziristan Agency on Friday, reports said. According to reports, the pilot-less plane crashed on Thursday night in Wana district of South Waziristan. Tribesmen said a drone was heard buzzing in the skies and crashed after some time. Local intelligence sources confirmed the crash in the area and said that its parts were being retrieved. The political administration and government officials declined to comment on the issue.