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Zawahiri said Pak attack target

SYDNEY, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaida's Number Two leader, was the prime target of Pakistan's attack on an Islamic school earlier this week, The Australian reported.

The newspaper, in a report from Islamabad, quoted Pakistani intelligence sources as saying the attack by helicopter gunships on the madrassa close to the Afghanistan border came after reports that Zawahiri was at the location.

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It also came as tribal militants threatened suicide bombings to bring down the government of President Pervez Musharraf, the sources said.

About 80 people were killed in the attack in the region known as the Bajaur agency. Zawahiri, deputy to Osama bin Laden, was not among the dead.

"...Anyone who is saying these were innocent students is telling lies," Musharraf said Wednesday.

"We were watching them since the last six, seven days. We knew exactly who they are, what they are doing. They were all militants, using weapons, doing military training within the compound."

Musharraf, however, did not confirm the Egyptian-born Zawahiri was a prime target in the attack.

Zawahiri and bin Laden are believed hiding in the remote Pakistan-Afghanistan border area.

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