Pak Press Publishes Photos of Vehicle Struck By US Drones In Balochistan

Two charred bodies found in Balochistan near Pak-Afghan border

express tribune

People stand near a vehicle which came under attack by a US drone near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on May 22, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

People stand near a vehicle which came under attack by a US drone near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on May 22, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: Two charred bodies and remains of a car were found late on Saturday night from a remote area near Noshki district of Balochistan, which is close to the border with Afghanistan.

“One of the bodies was identified as Azam (driver) while the other was identified as Muhammad Wali, both Pakistani residents as per the documents recovered from them,” deputy commissioner Chaghi told The Express Tribune on Sunday.

The official further said residents of the area claim they heard the sound of a blast and gunfire late on Saturday night and later found the bodies in a vehicle which was travelling on the Quetta-Taftan highway near Noshki.

Earlier, the United States claimed to have targeted Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour and another militant in a drone strike near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, which reportedly killed them.

Afghanistan’s spy agency said  Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US bombing raid, the first confirmation from regional officials of his death, which marks a potential blow to the resurgent militant movement.

“Mansour was being closely monitored for a while… until he was targeted along with other fighters aboard a vehicle,” Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security said in a statement.

American officials on Saturday said Mansour was “likely killed” in the remote Pakistani town of Ahmad Wal in Balochistan province by multiple unmanned aircraft operated by US special forces.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials told AFP the drones struck a Toyota Corolla near the city of Quetta, killing two people whose bodies were burned beyond recognition.

They did not confirm whether Mansour was among them but said the bodies had been moved to a hospital in Quetta.

A member of the Quetta Shura, the Taliban’s leadership council, told AFP that Mansour had been unreachable on his mobile phone since Saturday night.

“We are not sure if something is really wrong or he purposely switched off his phone fearing an attack,” he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

In December, Mansour was reportedly wounded and possibly killed in a shootout at the house of another insurgent leader near Quetta. The Taliban eventually released an audio recording, purportedly from Mansour, to dispel the reports.

A US intelligence analyst said Mansour had been in a power struggle with Mullah Mohammad Rasoul, whose deputy, Mullah Dadullah, was killed late last year in what officials think was a fight with Mansour’s more hard-line faction.