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 prot