Home Latest News Drone Strike Kills 13 Pakistani Militants in Afghanistan

Drone Strike Kills 13 Pakistani Militants in Afghanistan

by AFP
James Lee Harper Jr.-USAF—AFP

James Lee Harper Jr.-USAF—AFP

Security officials say militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Islam, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Abdullah Azam Brigade.

A U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan has killed 13 militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban in an area close to the countries’ shared border, officials said Tuesday.

The strike came in the Nasyan area of the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, close to the border with the Khyber Agency. Pakistani security officials said the militants belonged to the Lashkar-e-Islam, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Abdullah Azam Brigade militant groups.

“The strike took place when an important meeting of militants was in progress and a car bomb was being prepared for some suicide attack,” said a Pakistani security official. “There are two Haqqani network commanders and six TTP militants among the dead,” he said, adding the rest belonged to the two other groups.

A NATO spokesman in Kabul confirmed the strike and said it was carried out on Monday, but gave no details on the number of causalities. “We can confirm there was a U.S. precision strike during an operation in Nasyan district, Nangarhar province, March 23,” the spokesman said.

The strike is the latest evidence of increasing cooperation between the two neighbors and U.S.-led forces in combating TTP militants who have fled across the border from a Pakistani military operation.

After years of fractious ties and mistrust, Kabul and Islamabad are improving relations under new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and both countries have agreed to take action against militants using their territory to launch attacks.

Pakistan’s army chief visited Kabul after a deadly Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar in December that killed 154 people, mostly schoolchildren.

Last Thursday, the Pakistani Taliban said a U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan killed a senior commander who was a close associate of two of the group’s former chiefs. The strike comes at a time when President Barack Obama is to meet with Ghani, who has asked Washington for “flexibility” on the pace of U.S. troop withdrawals from the war-torn country.

With the end of the U.S.-led NATO combat mission in 2014, Afghan forces have taken over responsibility for security across the nation, still wrestling with a resilient Taliban insurgency. In a stark reminder of the violence still racking Afghanistan, gunmen killed 13 bus passengers in a province close to Kabul early on Tuesday.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment