Wednesday, 26 September 2012

U.S. drone kills senior al-Qaeda figure, five others in Pakistan

A U.S. drone strike killed a senior al-Qaeda figure and at least five other insurgents in north-western Pakistan, an intelligence official said on Tuesday.

Abu Kasha al-Iraqi, a high-ranking al-Qaeda planner and facilitator, was killed late on Monday when ``a U.S. drone fired two missiles into a mud compound,’’ the official said on condition of anonymity.

Another al-Qaeda operative was also among the six charred bodies pulled out from the debris by locals in Khaider Khail area located around five km south-east of Mir Ali, the main town of North Waziristan, one of the seven tribal districts along the Afghan border where al-Qaeda linked Taliban rebels are thought to have hideouts.

On Saturday, a drone strike targeting a vehicle in the same district killed three people.

Pakistan opposes the drone attacks, saying they fuel anti-US sentiment and drive support for the militants.

The latest airstrike came as President Asif Ali Zardari, in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, met U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to discuss bilateral relations, which have been strained by the drone strikes.

They also discussed a film produced in the U.S. that mocks the prophet Mohammed.

The video has sparked violent protests in Pakistan, which reached their peak last Friday, killing at least 23 people and injuring
over 200.

A church was also set ablaze in Pakistan’s north-western town of Mardan, drawing condemnation by Pakistani as well as international leaders.

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