Badruddin Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani network, is believed to have died Friday in missile strikes on Pakistan’s tribal area of North Waziristan, a US-based newspaper has claimed.

It quoted senior American officials as saying that there are strong indications that Badruddin Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani network, which is responsible for some of the most spectacular assaults on American bases and Afghan cities in recent years, was killed in missile strikes.

Badruddin Haqqani is considered second in seniority to the Haqqani network’s leader, his older brother Sirajuddin Haqqani. Both men are believed to direct operations in Afghanistan from their haven in North Waziristan, where they have allied with local warlords and enjoy longstanding clan ties.

On Friday, at least 18 people were killed in US missile strikes on three houses in North Waziristan.