The U.S. Defense Department has welcomed reports that a prominent Islamic militant commander was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan.
Pentagon spokesman George Little did not confirm the strike, but said the death of Mullah Nazir would mark a “significant blow” against militants and would be “helpful” to both U.S. and Pakistani forces.
The United States generally does not comment about its drone program.
Nazir was reported killed in a missile strike overnight on January 2-3 in South Waziristan.
A top deputy was reportedly among around eight other people also killed.
Nazir is held responsible by authorities for coordinating attacks on U.S. and NATO-led troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
He is said to have had a truce deal with Pakistan's military and did not focus on Pakistani targets.
Nazir was reportedly wounded in a bombing attack in November.
Local elders in Waziristan named Bawal Khan, who was a close aide to Mullah Nazir, as his successor, an RFE/RL correspondent reports.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP