Excerpted from FREE BEACON: A drone strike in northern Pakistan has killed a senior leader of the Islamist terror group known as the Haqqani Network, according to reports from the region.
Mullah Sangeen Zadran was killed by a U.S. missile strike fired from a remotely piloted drone aircraft in an operation in North Waziristan Thursday night, local sources and Pakistani intelligence officials told the Express newspaper in Karachi.
The drone strike involved several air-launched missiles that killed a total of six people and injured four others at an al Qaeda camp at Nawab, about 150 miles northeast of Karachi.
Others killed included Jordanian al Qaeda members Muhammad Abu Bilal Al-Khurrasani and Abu Dogana Al-Khairrasani, and Egyptian al Qaeda terrorists identified in reports only as Zubair.
A U.S. official declined to comment. The U.S. government policy is not to discuss secret drone operations.
Zadran also reportedly was involved in the kidnapping of U.S. solider Sgt. Bowe Robert Bergdahl who has been held by the Haqqani network since June 2009.
Zadran’s death was announced from loudspeakers in the remote region during Friday prayers, local sources and Pakistani intelligence officials told the Express.
Zadran was a senior commander considered to be one of the top three leaders under Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the Islamist group the Haqqani Network that allied with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Zadran, 45, was from the Zadran tribe in Paktika province in Afghanistan and was a key figure in developing ties with other militants, including al Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in addition to the Taliban.
The State Department designated Zadran a terrorist under Executive Order 13224 in August 2011.
“Sangeen Zadran is the Shadow Governor for Paktika Province, Afghanistan and a commander of the Haqqani Network, a Taliban-affiliated group of militants that operates from North Waziristan Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan,” the State Department said in an announcement.
“The Haqqani Network has been at the forefront of insurgent activity in Afghanistan, responsible for many high-profile attacks.”
According to the statement, Zadran has led attacks across southeastern Afghanistan and helped plan and coordinate travel of hundreds of foreign fighters into Afghanistan.
He was also linked to improvised explosive device attacks and was behind kidnappings of Afghans and foreign nationals in the Afghan-Pakistan border region.