The attack apparently targeted Siraj Haqqani, a senior figure in an al-Qaida-linked network that is believed to use bases in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region to plot and launch attacks on U.S. and other international forces across the border in Afghanistan.
Four people were killed when missiles struck a house on Thursday night in the Dande Darpa Khel of North Waziristan, two Pakistani intelligence officials told The Associated Press. One of the dead was Mohammed Haqqani, the brother of Siraj Haqqani, the officials said.
It was not immediately known if Siraj Haqqani was at the house at the time, and if he was, whether he was hit by the blast, they said.
A local commander of Pakistani Taliban in Mir Ali — a town in North Waziristan_ confirmed to The Associated Press that Mohammed Haqqani died in the missile attack with three of his associates on Thursday. A relative from Haqqani’s family told AP his funeral was held near Miram Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, and was attended by hundreds of residents and relatives.
Both the intelligence officials and the Taliban commander spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to talk to media on the record. The relative also declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the information.
The strike at the heart of the Haqqani network comes close on the heels of a series of arrests — including the capture of the Taliban No. 2 leader — that together are being seen as the most significant blows in years to insurgents fighting U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.
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