Watch CBSN Live

Source: Haqqani's Sons Killed in Strike

Two sons of high-level Taliban military commander in North Waziristan, Pakistan may have been killed in a suspected U.S. missile attack Thursday, a regional source tells CBS News.

Jalaluddin Haqqani, who leads the militant network Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the North Waziristan region of the country, was the intended target, a local government officer told CBS News.

Instead, the source says, his two sons, one of whom, Seraj, is widely believed to be Haqqani's successor, were hit and killed.

Pakistani intelligence officials have said the missile strike killed three people, the Associated Press reports.

A commander in Haqqani's network tells CBS News' Sami Yousafzai that if Seraj was killed, many replacements remain. There are "many falcons" in the Haqqani family, the commander said in a worried tone.

Missile strikes targeting militants have escalated in Pakistan's volatile North and South Waziristan tribal regions since December when a bomber backed by the Pakistani Taliban killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan.

The strikes come as two Taliban "shadow governors" from northern Afghanistan were arrested by Pakistani authorities, Afghan officials said, including one very senior commander for the militant group in the country's north.

Mohammmad Omar, the official governor of Kunduz province, said Thursday that the insurgency's shadow governors in Kunduz and Baghlan were arrested about 10 to 12 days ago in Pakistan.

That's roughly the same time that Pakistani and U.S. intelligence forces captured the Taliban's top military commander - Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

Omar says the two arrested were Mullah Abdul Salam from Kunduz and Mullah Mohammad in Baghlan.

Taliban sources confirmed Thursday to CBS News' Yousafzai that Abdul Salam had been arrested, saying he was apprehended by Pakistani forces while travelling to meet his boss, Mullah Baradar.

Yousafzai reports that Abdul Salam was far more than the Taliban's unofficial political chief in Kunduz, acting also as the group's senior military commander over a large portion of northern Afghanistan.

He was atop the German NATO contingent's most wanted list, according to Yousafzai. German troops make up the largest NATO presence in the region.

View CBS News In