US kills 6 in strike against Haqqani Network
The US launched yet another airstrike in Pakistan's Taliban controlled-tribal agency of North Waziristan, the fifth in the region in eight days.
The deadly unmanned Predators and Reapers strike aircraft targeted a vehicle inside a compound run by the Haqqani Network in Machis, just outside the main town of Miramshah. Six terrorists have been reported killed in the strike.
"We have confirmation of four deaths, so far," a Pakistani official told Reuters. "The death toll could be more." The count was later revised to six killed and three wounded.
No senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders have been reported killed in the strike.
Today's airstrike in North Waziristan is the fifth in the Taliban and al Qaeda haven since March 16. The last attack took place in the Datta Khel region on March 21. Four Taliban fighters were reported killed in that attack.
The two latest strikes put the March total at seven. So far this year, the US has carried out 24 strikes in Pakistan; all of them have taken place in North Waziristan. In 2009, the US carried out 53 strikes in Pakistan; and in 2008, the US carried out 36 strikes in the country. [For up-to-date charts on the US air campaign in Pakistan, see: Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2010.]
Unmanned US Predator and Reaper strike aircraft have been pounding Taliban and al Qaeda hideouts in North Waziristan over the past several months in an effort to kill senior terror leaders and disrupt the networks that threaten Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the West. [For more information, see LWJ report, "Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2010."]
Most recently, on March 8, a US strike in a bazaar in Miramshah killed a top al Qaeda operative known as Sadam Hussein Al Hussami.
Hussami was a protégé of Abu Khabab al Masri, al Qaeda's top bomb maker and WMD chief, who was killed in a US airstrike in July 2008. Hussami was a senior member of al Qaeda's external operations network. He was on a council that advised the suicide bomber who carried out the attack at Combat Outpost Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan. That attack killed seven CIA officials and a Jordanian intelligence officer. The slain intelligence operatives were involved in gathering intelligence for the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban leaders along the Afghan-Pakistani border.