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Al-Qaeda leader 'killed' in US raid
US official says drone attack kills senior al-Qaeda plotter in northwest Pakistan.
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2009 03:21 GMT
Pakistan sent 30,000 troops into South Waziristan in October as part of its bid to crush the Taliban [AFP]

A raid by a US drone aircraft in northwest Pakistan has killed a senior al-Qaeda leader, a US  government official has said.

Saleh al-Somali, the man in charge of al-Qaeda's operations outside the Afghan-Pakistan region, was killed by a missile on Tuesday, the official, who declined to be named, said on Friday.

The official said that al-Somali was engaged in plotting attacks throughout the world, which probably included plans against targets in the US and Europe.

"Al-Somali was part of al-Qaeda's senior leadership circle, and he maintained connections to other Pakistan-based extremists who were plotting attacks against their own country and Afghanistan," he said.

"He took strategic guidance from [al Qaeda's] top leadership and translated it into operational blueprints for prospective terrorist attacks," the official said.

"He maintained relationships with al-Qaeda's allies in East Africa, such as the terrorist group al-Shabab."

The Pakistani officials said that Tuesday's attack targeted a car in Aspalga village, about 12km southeast of Miranshah, the main town of the North Waziristan tribal district, which borders Afghanistan.

North Waziristan neighbours South Waziristan, where Pakistan deployed about 30,000 troops in October as part of its offensive against the Taliban, which is considered to have links to al-Qaeda.

Source:
Agencies
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