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At least one al-Qaeda leader killed by US in Pakistan

Other News Materials 12 December 2009 06:51 (UTC +04:00)
At least one top al-Qaeda plotter is presumed to be dead from an apparent drone attack in Waziristan in western Pakistan, according to US news reports that quoted US officials, dpa reported.
At least one al-Qaeda leader killed by US in Pakistan

At least one top al-Qaeda plotter is presumed to be dead from an apparent drone attack in Waziristan in western Pakistan, according to US news reports that quoted US officials, dpa reported.

Saleh al-Somali, said to have plotted attacks for the international terrorist network al-Qaeda, was presumed to be dead from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operated by the CIA, unnamed officials told The New York Times and other US media.

A second possible victim, Abu Yahya al-Libi, was also killed, according to "unconfirmed reports" mentioned by the Washington-based IntelCenter in an e-mail to the German Press Agency dpa. IntelCenter also mentioned al-Somali as a second victim, and said the UAV attack had taken place near Miranshah in Waziristan.

Al-Somali apparently took orders from al-Qaedas top leaders and worked with Western recruits when they arrived in the tribal areas of western Pakistan where the terrorist group has sought refuge, an official told Bloomberg news service.

Al-Somali was also said to be an al-Qaeda link to al-Shabaab, a Somali-based militant group, and a major operations planner for the terrorist group.

The drone reportedly fired two missiles into an al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuary on Tuesday, ABC news reported.

"There are strong indications that senior al Qaeda operations planner Saleh al-Somali has died," a senior US official told ABC News.

US officials did not confirm that a second operative, al-Libi, had been killed. But Pakistani media reported his death.

Al-libi was identified in October as a senior al-Qaeda leader who issued a video urging Muslims to launch a holy war against Chinese "invaders" in response to the "massacre" of Uighurs in western China. He is sometimes identified as the commander in Afghanistan of the international terrorist network al-Qaeda.

Muslims with historical and linguistic ties to the Turkic peoples of Central Asia, Uighurs live in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, which Islamists call East Turkistan.

The New York Times reported that rumours of al-Libi's death have spread through jihadi internet forums.

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