Afghan official: US drone kills 9 Taliban fighters

AP News
Posted: Dec 07, 2014 2:39 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suspected U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan killed nine alleged Pakistani Taliban fighters in a rural village near the mountainous border between the two countries, a local official said Sunday.

The strike Saturday afternoon hit the village of Shiltan in Kunar province's Shigal District, killing a senior commander of the insurgent group and also wounding a fighter, provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Habib Sayedkhili said. Sayedkhili said there were no civilian casualties from the strike.

There was no confirmation from NATO forces about the strike. Washington long has used drone strikes to kill militants in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan and U.S. officials rarely comment on the covert drone program run by the CIA.

The Taliban had no immediate comment about the strike. On Saturday, officials said two other suspected U.S. drone strikes killed four alleged Taliban fighters in Laghman province.

Taliban fighters, al-Qaida militants and other insurgents frequently cross the border to launch attacks on local troops and NATO forces. Insurgent attacks are on the rise across Afghanistan as NATO forces plan to wind down their combat mission in the country at the end of this month.

In a separate attack, a Taliban insurgent threw a grenade into a wedding party Saturday night in Balkh province, killing four people and wounding 13, police spokesman Shirjan Duran said. The motive for the attack wasn't immediately clear.