5 Jun 2011

al-Qaeda commander killed

5:38 am on 5 June 2011

An al-Qaeda commander has been killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan.

Officials on Saturday confirmed reports that Ilyas Kashmiri died in the strike in the tribal region of South Waziristan.

He is believed to have been one of nine people killed in the attack.

Ilyas Kashmiri led a group called the 313 brigade, that specialises in co-ordinated Mumbai-style strikes on targets.

The United States blames him for organising multiple attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and had offered a reward of $US5 million.

Pakistani intelligence officials previously claimed that Ilyas Kashmiri had been killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan in September 2009.

The BBC reports he is widely believed to have masterminded an attack on the Mehran naval airbase in Karachi last month.