PESHAWAR - There is confusion about attack that took place in the early hours of the Saturday morning near South Waziristan capital, Wana, killing nine people, Al Jazeeras correspondent in Pakistan said.
Al Jazeeras Hameedullah Khan reported that residents in the area say that helicopters, which they believe belonged to Nato, attacked Bir Mal at around 1:30am Saturday. However he said reports are currently unconfirmed that these were not drone attacks. This follows two other attacks in separate locations, in Baghar and Dre Nishtar, in South Waziristan on Friday.
The Al Jazeera correspondent said that there were unconfirmed reports that key Taliban and Al-Qaeda members, including Hazrat Ali, Sher Ali and Amir Hamza, were killed in the latest attack. Apparently Maulvi Nazir, a militant commander who is accused of working with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to direct cross-border attacks in Afghanistan, was the targeted.
Al Jazeera correspondent discounted rumours that Haqqani network was being targeted, saying that the Haqqani network does not have a base in South Waziristan.
Meanwhile, news agencies reported that a US drone strike targeting a militant compound in a tribal region killed six rebels in the fourth attack in two days near the Afghan border, security officials said Saturday.
The drones fired eight missiles Friday night at the compound in Baghar, 40 km west of Wana, the main town of South Waziristan tribal district, where the military launched a ground offensive two years ago. The strike targeted fighters of militant commander Maulvi Nazir. The strike killed six militants and wounded three others, a security official said.
He said the identities of those killed in the attack could not be immediately established.
Another security official confirmed the strike and said that the targeted compound was one of the few buildings used by mujahideen during the Afghan war against the former Soviet Union.
Baghar is a mountainous area covered by thick forests and is difficult to access. It is said to be used by warlord Maulvi Nazir, whose fighters are allied to the Haqqani network and active in the 10-year war in Afghanistan.
A US official in Washington described a commander in the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network who was killed on Thursday as the most senior Haqqani leader in Pakistan to be taken off the battlefield.
Officials reported 10 militants killed in two US drone strikes on Thursday and named the Haqqani commander as Jamil Haqqani, a coordinator for the Afghan Taliban faction in North Waziristan.
The US official said he was known as Jamil and as Janbaz Zadran, accusing him of having played a central role in helping the Haqqani network attack US and coalition targets in Kabul and southeastern Afghanistan.
Officials said the slain commander was not a relative of Jalaluddin Haqqani.