US strike kills 5 Taliban in North Waziristan

The US struck a Taliban compound today in the lawless tribal agency of North Waziristan as the Pakistani military continues to target the Taliban in nearby Arakzai.

US-operated unmanned Predator or Reaper aircraft fired two missiles on a compound run by a known local Taliban leader in the village of Boya, near Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

"The compounds was owned by local Taliban commander Tariq Khan," a Pakistani security official told AFP.

According to the AFP report, five Taliban fighters were killed in the attack and two more were wounded. No senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders have been reported killed.

The Miramshah region is a known haven for the Haqqani Network, the Taliban group that operates in eastern Afghanistan. The Haqqani Network has close ties to al Qaeda; Siraj Haqqani, the group's military commander, sits on al Qaeda's top shura, and the network trains and utilizes suicide bombers for attacks in Afghanistan. North Waziristan Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadar also has a presence in the Miramshah region.

Today's strike is the first reported inside Pakistan this month, and the first since March 30, when six al Qaeda and Taliban fighters were killed in strikes on a compound in the village of Tapi.

So far this year, the US has carried out 26 strikes in Pakistan; all of the strikes 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, and 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 had been involved in gathering intelligence for the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban leaders along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

In the neighboring tribal agency of Arakzai, the Pakistani military continues to target Taliban groups operating there. Forty-one Taliban fighters were reported killed after massing to assault military outposts manned by the Frontier Corps. Two Frontier Corps troops were also killed in the fighting. According to press reports, the military has claimed that 419 Taliban fighters have been killed in air, artillery , and ground attacks in Arakzai since March 21.

The Pakistani military also claimed that 15 Taliban fighters, including a "local commander" named Qari Usman and "foreigners," were killed after assaulting an Army outpost in South Waziristan. "Those killed included nationals from Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and Uzbekistan," Geo News reported. The military claimed that one soldier was killed in the attack.

US strikes in Pakistan in 2010:

US strike kills 5 Taliban in North Waziristan
April 12, 2010
US strikes kill 6 in North Waziristan
March 30, 2010
US strike kills 4 in North Waziristan
March 27, 2010
US kills 6 in strike against Haqqani Network
March 23, 2010
US strike kills 4 in North Waziristan
March 21, 2010
US kills 8 terrorists in 2 new airstrikes in North Waziristan
March 17, 2010
US Predator strike in North Waziristan kills 11 Taliban, al Qaeda
March 16, 2010
US airstrike kills 12 in North Waziristan
March 10, 2010
US airstrike in North Waziristan kills 5 Taliban fighters
March 8, 2010
US hits Haqqani Network in North Waziristan, kills 8
Feb. 24, 2010
US airstrikes target Haqqani Network in North Waziristan
Feb. 18, 2010
Latest US airstrike kills 3 in North Waziristan
Feb. 17, 2010
US strike kills 4 in North Waziristan
Feb. 15, 2010
US strikes training camp in North Waziristan
Feb. 14, 2010
Predators pound terrorist camp in North Waziristan
Feb. 2, 2010
US airstrike targets Haqqani Network in North Waziristan
Jan. 29, 2010
US airstrike in North Waziristan kills 6
Jan. 19, 2010
Latest US airstrike in Pakistan kills 20
Jan. 17, 2010
US strikes kill 11 in North Waziristan
Jan. 15, 2010
US airstrike hits Taliban camp in North Waziristan
Jan. 14, 2010
US airstrike kills 4 Taliban fighters in North Waziristan
Jan. 9, 2010
US airstrike kills 5 in North Waziristan
Jan. 8, 2010
US kills 17 in latest North Waziristan strike
Jan. 6, 2010
US airstrike kills 2 Taliban fighters in Mir Ali in Pakistan
Jan. 3, 2010
US kills 3 Taliban in second strike in North Waziristan
Jan. 1, 2010


READER COMMENTS: "US strike kills 5 Taliban in North Waziristan"

Posted by ArneFufkin at April 13, 2010 10:50 AM ET:

Even if we don't get any big dawgs it's nice to keep them thinking that we're trying.