Key al Qaeda operative seen in Pakistan village hit by drone

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 04, 2011 6:39 AM
Key al Qaeda operative seen in Pakistan village hit by drone

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Senior al Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri, regarded as one of the world's most dangerous militants, was seen in a Pakistani village where five of his supporters were later killed in a U.S. drone strike, two intelligence officials said on Saturday.

The BBC quoted residents of the village in South Waziristan region in the northwest as saying that Kashmiri had been killed late on Friday. The officials said the Pakistani militant was seen at a militant compound there on Thursday night.

Intelligence and security officials have said they had no information confirming that Kashmiri was killed. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, which has strong ties to al Qaeda, said he was alive.

(Reporting by Saud Mehsud; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Robert Birsel)