Top Al Qaeda militant killed in U.S. drone strike

Ilyas Kashmiri, one of Al Qaeda’s most dangerous leaders blamed for several high-profile attacks in Pakistan and India, has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal region, a statement by his militant organization Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islam said on Saturday.

“We confirm that our Amir (leader) and commander in chief, Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, along with other companions, was martyred in an American drone strike on June 3, 2011, at 11:15 pm,” Abu Hanzla Kashir, a spokesman for Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islam, said in a statement faxed to a Pakistani television station.

If borne out, this would be the second extraordinary intelligence coup for the United States after U.S. Navy Seals shot dead Osama bin Laden in a town close to Islamabad on May 2.

Kashmiri was thought to take his orders directly from bin Laden.

NEW DELHI, June 4 (RIA Novosti)

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