Sajna among 13 killed in Afghan drone strike

WEB DESK: An American drone strike on Wednesday killed a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan, near the border with the North Waziristan region of Pakistan, according to Pakistani intelligence officials in the tribal belt.

The commander, Khan Sayed, also known as Sajna, led a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban. According to sources, Naeem Kochi and Kifayat Kochi were also among the terrorists killed in the drone strike.

North Waziristan’s Shawal valley was a stronghold of Sajna, whose name was added to a sanctions list of “specially designated global terrorists” by US authorities last year. The drone strike occurred in the Damma region in Khost province, near Shahadianu Patala, a Pakistani town in North Waziristan, the Pakistani intelligence officials were quoted by the New York Times. They said the strike had killed 12 other militants and wounded 20. Another Pakistani intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also reported that the commander had been killed in the strike.

The Pakistani officials’ claims have not yet been independently confirmed, partly because of the remoteness of the site and the restrictions on journalists’ access to the area. There was also no immediate comment from American officials, who do not typically comment publicly on drone strikes. According to local elders, Taliban commanders were meeting to resolve the growing differences among the various Taliban offshoots when the drone strike took place.