Suspected US drones strike on Pak soil

Miranshah, October 23:

Suspected US spy drones fired missiles early today into a school set up by a top Taliban commander in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan, killing 11 people, security officials said.

The air strike apparently targeting veteran militant Jalaluddin Haqqani, a major target for US forces, was the latest in a string of attacks on Pakistani soil that have raised tensions between Islamabad and Washington.

It came hours after parliament passed a special resolution calling for an urgent review of Pakistan’s anti-terror policy, including more talks with militants and a vow to defend Pakistan’s

territorial sovereignty.

Security officials said that the madrassa, or religious school, near Miranshah, the main town in troubled North Waziristan region, was set up by Haqqani during the 1980s “jihad” against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

It was currently run by one of Haqqani’s own commanders, Mullah Mansoor, and was recently

used as a guest house for “international and local students traveling from other areas”.

“At 2:25 am, two spy drones fired three missiles at the madrassa of Mullah Mansoor. Eleven people have been killed in the missile strike,” a security official told AFP.

“Locals are still looking for more people in the rubble,” he said.

A similar missile strike targeting another house owned by Haqqani on September 8 killed 23 people, including members of Haqqani’s extended family, security officials said.

Haqqani was one of the most prominent Afghan commanders who fought the Red Army between 1978 and 1989.

Haqqani subsequently became close to Mullah Omar, the leader of the 1996-2001 Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Since the fall of the Taliban, Haqqani has become one of the most active Taliban commanders

launching attacks on international forces in Afghanistan from safe havens in Pakistan, security officials said.

His son Sirajuddin, also a leading Taliban commander, was an occasional visitor at the madrassa that was hit today, a senior security official handling tribal unrest told AFP.

Taliban offensive

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants on Thursday killed eight pro-government tribesmen in

an ambush in northwest Pakistan’s rugged tribal region, a government official said.

The victims were returning from a Jirga or traditional tribal gathering held to discuss strategies for combating Taliban militants in the tribal Orakzai region, local official Ahmed Khan said. — AFP