Top al-Qaida member dead in Pakistan

Dec. 3, 2005 at 8:33 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Pakistan said the operational leader of al-Qaida was killed near the Afghan border along with four other men although details of the operation were not clear.

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid confirmed the death of Abu Hamza Rabia, an Egyptian-born man living in Pakistan, in the country's North Waziristan region, the BBC reported Saturday.

Pakistan's English newspaper Dawn reported Friday officials claim an explosion killed the five men. That contradicted statements made to the paper by local residents that said the house they were in was hit with missiles from aircraft.

There are tens of thousands of Pakistani soldiers along the border with Afghanistan in the ongoing battle to find and capture or kill al-Qaida and Taliban members in the area.

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