BBC NEWS (UK), AL JAZEERA (Qatar)
ISLAMABAD - Senior Pakistani militant leader Mullah Nazir has been killed by a US drone strike, Pakistani security officials say.
The drone attack killed at least least five fighters including the militant Wednesday night in the northwest tribal district of South Waziristan, according to security officials, reports BBC News.
Pakistani Militant Mullah Nazir - Source: Youtube screenshot
The US drone fired two missiles at Nazir's home, several officials said.
"The attack by a US drone late last night targeted a house in the An-goor Adda area in South Waziristan on the Afghan border," Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reported.
"Mullah Nazir was among those killed. The strike happened at a time when the US wants to talk with the Taliban... this is a major setback."
Reports say Mullah Nazir's deputy, Ratta Khan, was also killed in the attack.
Nazir was the leader of one of four major militant factions in Pakistan accused of sending fighters back to the Afghan Taliban to fight international coalition troops there, adds BBC News.
Analysts say Mullah Nazir had formed an alliance with the government and opposed the Pakistani Taliban, with whom he was at odds because he favored attacking US forces in Afghanistan rather than Pakistani soldiers
He was wounded in a suicide bomb attack in November.
Drone strikes have largely increased since US President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
Hundreds of people have been killed, sparking public anger in Pakistan. Islamabad has continuously called for an end to the attacks saying they violate the country's sovereignty.