南京夜网

Al-Qaeda leader killed

AN AL-QAEDA leader believed to have been the organisation’s number three has been killed in a drone strike in north-west Pakistan.The raid was part of a growing bombing campaign by the US against al-Qaeda and Taliban figures in tribal areas of Pakistan.The US media has reported that the man killed was the al-Qaeda number three, Abu Yahya al-Libi, who escaped from a US-run prison in Bagram, Afghanistan, in 2005.A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the man killed was an ”upper-tier” figure in the al-Qaeda network.The operation did not target al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden or his Egyptian deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, officials said.The drone attack comes as the US Administration prepares to send 30,000 reinforcements to neighbouring Afghanistan to try to turn the tide against a growing Taliban insurgency, which uses sanctuaries in Pakistan.The US official’s account came after Pakistani security and intelligence officials reported a missile strike from a US drone killed three suspected militants in the northwest tribal belt early on Tuesday.The attack targeted a car in Aspalga village, 12 kilometres south-east of Miranshah, the main town of the restive North Waziristan district bordering Afghanistan, officials said.North Waziristan neighbours South Waziristan, where Pakistan has been focusing its most ambitious offensive yet against home-grown Taliban militants, deploying about 30,000 troops into the region from October 17.The US air campaign employs unmanned Predator and larger Reaper drones armed with precision-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles to target al-Qaeda leaders.Officials privately say the campaign has successfully taken out some prominent figures and the director of the CIA has defended the attacks as ”the only game in town” when it comes to targeting al-Qaeda and its allies.Islamabad publicly criticises the targeted assassinations but quietly co-operates with the operations, analysts say.US Senator Dianne Feinstein let slip at a congressional hearing earlier this year that Islamabad allows the use of an air base on Pakistani soil for the drones.Islamabad is under increasing Western pressure to not only target Taliban groups attacking Pakistan, but also al-Qaeda-linked fighters and militants who cross the border and target foreign troops in Afghanistan.Washington and London have also pressed Pakistan to capture bin Laden – believed to be in the Afghan-Pakistan border area – but the authorities deny he is on their soil.Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said in an interview that Pakistan must co-operate more fully with the US to help wipe out al-Qaeda.
Nanjing Night Net