Jan 3 2013
Two US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions bordering Afghanistan have killed 13 people, including a top militant commander who had a truce with the military, intelligence officials said.
Two missile strikes occurred early on Thursday in the South and North Waziristan tribal areas.
Officials said the commander, Maulvi Nazir, was reportedly among nine people killed in the first strike in the village of Angoor Adda in South Waziristan.
Residents in both Angoor Adda and Wana, the biggest town in South Waziristan, said they heard announcements on mosque loudspeakers announcing Nazir's death.
Reports of individual deaths are difficult to verify independently and the US rarely comments on its secretive drone programme.
Nazir's death could prove to be a contentious issue between Washington and Islamabad, which is believed to have struck a non-aggression pact with Nazir ahead of the Pakistani military's 2009 operation against militants in South Waziristan.
While Nazir earned the US's enmity by launching attacks against American forces in Afghanistan, the Pakistani military views commanders like Nazir as key to keeping the peace internally because they do not attack Pakistani targets.
The second drone strike took place near Mir Ali, the main town of the North Waziristan tribal region. One missile hit a vehicle near the town, followed by another missile when people rushed to the vehicle to help people in the car. The officials said four people were killed in the strike, although their identities were not immediately known.
Nazir was attacked by a suicide bomber last November as he was arriving at an office he used to meet with locals and hear their complaints. Nazir and more than a dozen other people were wounded in the attack, and seven people were killed.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion immediately fell on rival militants who have been jockeying with Nazir for power in South Waziristan.