Three Haqqani militants killed in U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan

Posted February 12, 2018

At least three people were killed in a U.S. drone strike inside Afghanistan near its border with Pakistan's North Waziristan Agency, officials in Miranshah said on Thursday.

The U.S. Treasury Department said on February 7 it had placed Rahman Zeb Faqir Muhammad, Hizb Ullah Astam Khan, and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan on its blacklist of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists" for links to Pakistani-based militant groups, including the Afghan Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Lashkar-e Taiba.

He is the third Pakistan Taliban commander killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan during the last six months.

The officials sought anonymity because they weren't authorised to disclose the information.

They said on Friday they have also been picking up terrorists' chatter through phone intercepts in which they were talking about Sajna's killing.

The United States on Wednesday sanctioned three individuals allegedly linked to Pakistan-based terror networks.

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It took aim at the Pentagon's proposal to develop a nuclear cruise missile that could be launched from a ship or submarine. US ally South Korea would not want to be the only Korea left without a nuclear device.

It comes two weeks after the USA blacklisted six people accused of supporting the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan, and stressed their links to Pakistan.

"The vehicle was completed destroyed", an intelligence official told the daily, adding that there were at least three reported drone strikes on the Pakistan-Afghan border in the last 24 hours.

Sajna's vehicle was targeted in Margha area of Barmal district in Afghanistan's Paktika province bordering North Waziristan, reports said.

The second strike hit a compound in Gurwek town of North Waziristan, killing seven terrorists, the three Taliban commanders said. It is off limits to journalists and verifying any information independently is hard.

Pakistan had susbequently condemned the drone strike and called the unilateral action detrimental to the spirit of cooperation with the U.S. in the fight against terrorism.

Relations between Washington and Islamabad have frayed in recent months after US President Trump's angry tweet on January 1 about Pakistan's "lies and deceit" over its alleged support for the Afghan Taliban and their allies. She also condemned the last month's Kabul attacks and offered Pakistan's assistance for a joint investigation.

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