Drone strike hits Taliban leaders

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The Independent Online

A drone strike has killed five commanders of a powerful Pakistani Taliban faction, according to US intelligence sources.

The Obama administration has stepped up drone strikes against al-Qa'ida and Taliban militants in Pakistan's tribal border areas in an effort to stabilise Afghanistan before the end of 2014, when all Nato combat troops are due to leave.

The commanders belonged to the Maulvi Nazir faction of Pakistan's Taliban, which carries out cross-border attacks from its strongholds in South Waziristan. The group threatened in June to escalate attacks on US troops in the Nato-led coalition in Afghanistan. Maulvi Nazir's younger brother was reportedly among the dead.