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Pakistani Militant Commander Reportedly Killed In U.S. Drone Attack


Mullah Maulvi Nazir in April 2007
MIRANSHAH, Pakistan -- Large crowds have reportedly turned out in Pakistan's South Waziristan to mourn the death of senior Islamic militant commander Mullah Nazir.

He was reportedly killed in a missile strike by a U.S. drone overnight on January 2-3.

At least nine of Nazir's associates, including a top deputy, were reportedly killed with him.

Funeral prayers were offered by mourners in the Azam Warsak district of South Waziristan.

Mullah Nazir, of the Wazir tribe, is considered responsible by the authorities for coordinating attacks on U.S. and NATO-led troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

He is said to have been opposed to attacks on Pakistani troops in Pakistan and had a truce deal with Pakistan's military.

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, RFE/RL correspondent Umar Daraz reports.

The traditional turban was placed on Bawal Khan's head during a ceremony after Nazir's funeral prayers on January 3.

Meanwhile, another drone strike in the North Waziristan town of Mir Ali has killed three alleged militants.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters