The US launched a covert airstrike against a Taliban safe house in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of South Waziristan.
An unmanned Predator strike aircraft fired two Hellfire missiles at a Taliban safehouse in the town of Kanigoram, which is just 15 miles south of the main town of Wana. Eight Taliban fighters were killed in the strike, Geo News reported. No senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders have been reported killed at this time.
The town of Wana is a stronghold of South Waziristan Taliban commander Mullah Nazir, a former rival and now ally of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. The US targeted Nazir and Tahir Yuldashev, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, in a strike near Wana on Nov. 7. Nazir was wounded in the attack. Yuldashev's status is still unknown, but it is believed he survived the attack.
The US is on pace to exceed last year's total of 36 airstrikes in Pakistan. Today’s strike is the fifth this month and the sixteenth inside Pakistan this year. The last attack took place on April 19 in the town of Gangi Khel, which is also near the town of Wana. The region is a known Taliban and al Qaeda hotbed.
The Pakistani government officially protests the Predator strikes, but behind the scenes the government allows the attacks and the military passes some intelligence to US intelligence to target Taliban leaders. US Predators are based in Pakistan and are operated by the CIA.
Today's attack takes place as the Pakistani military is conducting operations against the Taliban in Dir and Buner.