ISLAMABAD – U.S. drones fired eight missiles at a compound owned by a powerful militant commander in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing nine suspected insurgents, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
It was unclear whether the commander, Sadiq Noor, was at the compound in Dre Nishter village in the North Waziristan tribal area during the attack. Noor is the most important commander for Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a prominent Pakistani militant focused on fighting in Afghanistan.
The nine suspected militants who were killed were believed to be Bahadur’s fighters, said the intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.
Pakistani officials say they want the drone strikes to stop and are asking the U.S. to feed intelligence gathered by the pilotless aircraft to Pakistani jets and ground forces so that they can target militants.
U.S. officials say Pakistan has proved incapable or unwilling to target militants the U.S. considers dangerous, so the drone campaign, considered the most effective tool in the counterterrorist arsenal, will continue.