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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Key Pakistani militant killed

A top Pakistani militant leader has been killed in a US drone strike in South Waziristan, reports say.
Ilyas Kashmiri
Locals say Ilyas Kashmiri was among nine people killed in the overnight strike on the village of Laman.

There have been uncorroborated rumours since Saturday (04-June-2011) afternoon, claiming that Ilyas Kashmiri, the head of the 313 Brigade, an affiliate of the Al Qaeda, was killed in a drone strike by the United States in South Waziristan on Friday night.

The rumours started circulating following a breaking news carried by Dawn on its website stating that according to the Urdu service of the BBC radio, Kashmiri was among nine persons killed in the drone strike.

Neither the Pakistani nor the US authorities have corroborated these rumours.

Maulana Illyas Kashmiri or Muhammad Illyas Kashmiri is an Islamist militant who fought with the Afghan Mujahideen, Kashmiri terror groups and with the al-Qaeda-Taliban against the international forces in Afghanistan, Pakistani forces in Pakistan and Indian forces in Kashmir.

The US recently gave Pakistan time till July the month when NATO and allied forces will begin withdrawing from Afghanistan to launch a military offensive in North Waziristan tribal region and to capture five most wanted al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including Kashmiri.

Kashmiri, the head of the banned Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, has been linked to several major terror attacks, including the 2008 Mumbai strikes and the recent Taliban raid on the PNS Mehran naval airbase in Karachi.

This is not the first that there have been reports of Kashmiri's death in a drone strike.

He was reported killed in an attack by a US spy plane in North Waziristan in September 2009 but re-emerged a month later to give an interview to Syed Saleem Shahzad, the journalist who was recently abducted and murdered.

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