WASHINGTON—A top leader in the Haqqani network who played a central role in attacking coalition forces was killed Thursday in Pakistan, U.S. officials said.
Janbaz Zadran was killed in the Haqqani stronghold of Miram Shah in North Waziristan, Pakistan. The area reportedly was targeted in a drone strike the same day he died.
U.S. officials say Zadran's death makes him the most senior Haqqani leader in Pakistan to be taken off the battlefield. The officials said Zadran helped the Haqqani network orchestrate attacks on troops in Kabul and southeastern Afghanistan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Zadran had access to Haqqani's leadership in Miram Shah. He served as a key lieutenant to Haqqani network commander Badruddin Haqqani. In May, the U.S. designated Badruddin Haqqani a terrorist. He's the son of the group's founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, according to the State Department.
U.S. intelligence considers the Haqqani network the No. 1 threat in Afghanistan and that it is supported by Pakistani security forces.
Using drones armed with missiles, the CIA has repeatedly pounded the area of Miram Shah.