US drone targeting Pakistani Taliban kills 21 in Afghanistan

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — Two missiles fired from a US drone hit a militant facility in neighboring Afghanistan, killing 21 insurgents, including the son of the head of the Pakistani Taliban, two Pakistani intelligence officials and local Taliban commanders said Thursday.

The strike, which the officials said took place on Wednesday, targeted a compound frequented by Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

The intelligence officials said Fazlullah was apparently not there at the time of the strike in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, miles away from Pakistani border, but his son was killed.


Three Pakistani Taliban commanders also confirmed the strike and militant casualties.

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The United States made no comment on the strike. There was also no immediate comment from NATO, Afghan authorities, or the government in Pakistan, where Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal met with Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, on Thursday.

Zakhiwal tweeted that the two had a ‘‘comprehensive discussion on all key aspects’’ of Afghan-Pakistan relations.

Pakistan opposes American drone strikes inside its territory, saying they violate the country’s sovereignty.

associated press