27 Oct 2008

Top Taleban commander killed in suspected US air strike

7:56 pm on 27 October 2008

A suspected US missile strike has killed 20 people, including a top Taleban commander, in north-west Pakistan, officials said.

Mohammad Omar was among the dead when the missile, reportedly fired by a pilotless US drone, hit a compound owned by him in South Waziristan.

Omar fought with the Taleban in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

The US has launched missile strikes against suspected militant targets in the Afghan border region recently.

Omar was a close associate of the dead Taleban commander Nek Mohammed, who was killed in a suspected US strike in the area four years ago.

Witnesses said that the missile strike completely destroyed his house, and partially damaged two neighbouring houses.

Local officials confirmed that 20 bodies had been dug up from the debris of the compound. Two others were injured in the attack, they said.

The US has made no comment.