US drone targets Pak Taliban in Afghanistan | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 09, 2018

US drone targets Pak Taliban in Afghanistan

21 suspected militants killed

Two missiles fired from a US drone hit a militant facility in neighboring Afghanistan, killing 21 insurgents, including the son of the head of the Pakistani Taliban, two Pakistani intelligence officials and local Taliban commanders said yesterday.

The strike, which according to the officials took place on Wednesday, targeted a compound frequented by Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

The intelligence officials said that Fazlullah was apparently not there, but his son was killed in the strike in Afghanistan's Kunar province, miles away from Pakistani border.

Three Pakistani Taliban commanders also confirmed the strike and militant casualties.

The United States made no comment on the strike. There was also no immediate comment from Nato, Afghan authorities or the Pakistani government.

Islamabad has for years has asked Washington and Kabul to take action against Fazlullah and other Pakistani Taliban, who are believed to be hiding in neighboring Afghanistan and who cross the porous Afghan-Pakistan border to launch attacks inside Pakistan.

Kabul, for its part, has long complained that Islamabad is not taking enough action against militants who use Pakistani soil to launch attacks against US, Nato and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

In recent months, President Donald Trump's cranked up pressure on Pakistan to act against militants by suspending key security assistance to the country. Pakistan denies providing sanctuary to militants and says it has carried out several military operations in the country's tribal regions and elsewhere to kill or arrest militants.

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