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Official Says Top Al Qaeda Operative Killed in Pakistan


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Fox News:

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, PAKISTAN – A top Al Qaeda commander and possible replacement for Usama bin Laden was killed in an American drone-fired missile strike close to the Afghan border, the militant group he heads and a Pakistani intelligence official said Saturday.

Ilyas Kashmiri's death is another blow to Al Qaeda just over a month after bin Laden was killed by American commandos in a northwest Pakistani army town. Described by U.S. officials as Al Qaeda's military operations chief in Pakistan, he was one of five most-wanted militant leaders in the country, accused in a string of bloody attacks, including the 2008 Mumbai massacre.

His death was not confirmed publicly by the United States or Pakistani officials.

Verifying who has been killed in the drone strikes is difficult. Initial reports have turned out to be wrong in the past, or are never formally denied or confirmed by authorities here or in the United States.

But a fax from the militant group he was heading -- Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami's feared "313 Brigade" -- confirmed Kashmiri was "martyred" in the strike at 11:15 p.m. Friday in South Waziristan tribal region. It vowed revenge against America.


The Pakistani official also said Kashmiri was among nine militants killed in the strike. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with his agency's policy.snip
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