Islamabad/Washington, Aug 25 — American officials said they had
strong indications that Badruddin Haqqani, the operational commander of
the Haqqani network, was killed in a drone strike Friday which claimed
at least 18 lives, US media reported Saturday."There are indications that Haqqani has met his demise," The New York Times quoted a senior US official in Washington as saying.
said that officials were waiting to sift through evidence, including
information on jihadist web sites, before they could be certain that
Haqqani was dead, Pakistani news agency Online reported.The caution stems from previous erroneous claims by American and Pakistani officials about militant deaths in Waziristan.
daily said Haqqani, who is in his 30s, runs the Haqqani network's
day-to-day militant operations, handles high-profile kidnappings and
manages its lucrative smuggling operations, according to a recent report
by the Combating Terrorism Center.He is considered second in
seniority to the Haqqani network's leader, his older brother Sirajuddin
Haqqani. Both men are believed to direct operations in Afghanistan from
their haven in North Waziristan, it said.In August 2011, Afghan
intelligence released intercepts of Badruddin Haqqani directing a daring
assault on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel; three years before that he
held a reporter for The New York Times, David Rohde, hostage."Badruddin
Haqqani has been at the centre of coalition attacks in Afghanistan as
well as mischief in Pakistan," said the American official who spoke on
condition of anonymity.By Friday evening, reports of Haqqani's death were circulating in Pakistan's tribal belt.
In Washington, the CIA declined to comment, as did the White House.
last major successful drone strike in Pakistan was the assassination of
the Al Qaeda deputy leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi, in June.Early
Friday, US drones fired at least six missiles at three locations in the
Shawal Valley. Among the 18 people reported to have been killed was
Emeti Yakuf, a senior leader of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a
group from western China whose members are Chinese Uighur Muslim
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