PESHAWAR: An American missile strike killed a ranking member of the militant Haqqani network on Thursday in northwestern Pakistan, striking a group that Washington claims is the No. 1 threat in Afghanistan, local intelligence officials said.
The strike came as US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman arrived in Pakistan to improve ties between Washington and Islamabad that have been severely strained by stepped-up American claims of Pakistan assistance to the Haqqanis.
Two other militants were killed in the attack close in the Haqqani stronghold of North Waziristan, said the Pakistani officials in the region.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
They identified the Haqqani member as Jalil and said he was a ''coordinator'' for the group.
The men were walking down a street when the drone-fired missile hit, the officials said. One said Jalil was related to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the network.
The missiles hit close to Dande Darpa Khel village, which is home to a large seminary with links to the Haqqanis.
Later Thursday, a second volley of drone-fired missiles hit a militant position on the hills close to the frontier in South Waziristan, killing three people, intelligence officials said.
The officials said the militants were firing rockets and mortars across the border at an American base in Machadad Kot in Afghanistan.