Image: A protest against U.S. drone attacks, in Multan, Pakistan
Mk Chaudhry  /  EPA
People hold a banner as they shout slogans during a protest against U.S. drone attacks in Multan, Pakistan, Thursday.
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 2/9/2012 6:04:14 AM ET 2012-02-09T11:04:14

A senior Pakistani militant commander allegedly involved in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi is believed to have been killed along with his wife in a drone attack Thursday, Pakistani security officials and Taliban sources told NBC News.

Badar Mansoor is thought to have been killed in Miramshahin Pakistan's lawless North Waziristan tribal region.

Security officials and Taliban sources said Badar Mansoor had been living in Torikhel village of Spalga area, about nine miles east of Miramshah, the main administrative town of North Waziristan.

Mansoor became leader of a group of Punjabi Taliban after the killing of another senior commander, Qari Zafar, who was allegedly the mastermind of the consulate attack in 2006, which killed a consular official and three Pakistanis, according to the Long War Journal.

He was mysteriously killed in a blast in the Danday Darpakhel area of North Waziristan last year.

Mansoor's group was associated with al-Qaida and reportedly engaged in attacking Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Nine killed by U.S. missiles
The Associated Press reported that U.S. missiles hit a house in North Waziristan's Spalga village on Wednesday, killing nine people, including some domestic Taliban militants, citing Pakistani intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

President Barack Obama spoke publicly about the covert CIA-run drone program for the first time in a recent interview.

Video: Obama aide: US must continue drone strikes (on this page)

But he and other U.S. officials refuse to openly say more about the strikes because the details are classified.

Pakistani officials regularly denounce the strikes as a violation of the country's sovereignty, but the government is widely believed to have facilitated the program in the past. That cooperation has come under strain as the relationship between the two countries has deteriorated.

Pakistan was outraged by the U.S. attack that killed its soldiers at two Afghan border posts in November. Pakistan retaliated by closing its border to supplies meant for NATO troops in Afghanistan and by kicking the U.S. out of a based used by American drones.

The U.S. and Pakistan disagree over who should be blamed for the incident, but there are signs that tensions are easing.

The Pakistani army held talks with NATO and Afghan forces Wednesday on how to improve coordination across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to avoid such incidents in the future.

The top U.S. military commander in the region, Gen. James Mattis, is scheduled to travel Pakistan this month, the first high-ranking official to visit since the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers.

Senior Pakistani officials have said in recent days that the government should reopen its border to NATO supplies as long as it can negotiate better fees from the coalition.

More from msnbc.com and NBC News:

NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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