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U.S. Welcomes Militant's Reported Death

Mullah Nazir, pictured here in 2007
Mullah Nazir, pictured here in 2007
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