Thousands of Pakistani tribesmen on Friday joined a protest against US drone strikes in South Waziristan tribal region, two days after pro-government Taliban commander Mullah Nazir was killed by a CIA-operated spy plane.
“The drone strike has killed Mullah Nazir and a dozen of his fighters”, a tribesmen said over a phone from Wana.
Nazir, a senior leader of the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe, had finalised a peace deal with Pakistani security forces in 2007.
He was considered to be among the “good” Taliban as he preferred attacking US and allied forces in Afghanistan instead of Pakistani troops.
The warlord was killed with his deputy in the drone strike in Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan, on Thursday.
A second drone strike in North Waziristan on the same day killed three more Taliban fighters.
The protest which was organized yesterday by the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe and the tribesmen shouted slogans like “Death to America”.
The protestors demanded that the Pakistan government should take a tough stand against US drone strikes in Waziristan, journalists and local residents said.
They waved black flags as a sign of protest against the US. Tribal elders and religious scholars paid tribute to Nazir and said he had established peace in areas under his influence.
“The American act of killing Nazir was cruel”, tribal elders Shereen Jan and Malik Dost Muhammad said.
Pakistan publicly opposes US drone strikes and describes them as counter-productive and a violation of the country's sovereignty.