Badruddin Haqqani,the key operational commander of the al-Qaeda linked Haqqani network,and top Pakistani Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah are believed to have been killed in US drone and air strikes in the tribal region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Badruddin,the son of Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani,is ranked as a deputy to his elder brother and the networks chief Sirajuddin and was believed to be killed in one of the five volleys of drone strikes in Pakistans Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan since August 18.
Four of the missiles hit took place in Shawal Valley,considered to be traditional area of operations of Haqqani network in North Waziristan,and US reports said he may have been killed in the August 21 strike near Miranshah.
The wave of attacks drew strongest protest from Islamabad in recent years when a senior US diplomat was summoned by the Foreign Ministry to lodge their opposition to the attacks.
Badruddin,thought to be in his mid-30s,was a member of the Miranshah Shura Council,one of the Afghan Talibans four regional commands,which controls all activities of the militant group in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Senior US officials were quoted by The New York Times as saying that they had strong indications that Badruddin,the key commander of the Haqqani network which is responsible for most of the spectacular assaults on American bases and Afghan cities in recent years,was killed in a drone strike
Meanwhile,a statement by coalition forces in Afghanistan said Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Mullah Dadullah was a mong 20 militants killed in a precision airstrike in Shigal wa Sheltan district of Kunar province yesterday.
Dadullah,whose real name is Maulana Mohammad Jamaluddin,was made the commander of Taliban in Pakistans Bajaur Agency in 2010. He fled to Afghanistan to escape an operation launched by the Pakistan Army. His deputy Shakir too was killed in the airstrike,the statement said.
Badruddin is one of the nine Haqqani family members designated by the US as terrorists.