Al Qaedas chief of operations in Pakistan killed in US missile strike

January 9th, 2009 - 12:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Benazir Bhutto

Washington, Jan 9 (ANI): Two top al Qaeda terrorists have been killed in a US missile strike on a building in northern Pakistan on New Years Day.

The men were high on the FBIs most wanted list, identified by agency officials as Usama al-Kini also known as Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam, al Qaedas chief of operations in Pakistan and his lieutenant, Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan.

Senior US officials said that the two men, both Kenyans, were believed to have been responsible for the September suicide bombing at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The pair was also under indictment for the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 220 people and injured scores of others, according to the officials.

These are two of the most dangerous operational figures in todays al Qaeda, the CNN quoted one senior official, as saying.

The officials could not confirm the particulars of the attack that killed them, but The Washington Post reported that the men were slain in a missile strike by a CIA pilotless drone aircraft.

The men were believed to have been behind numerous suicide attacks in Pakistan, including ones targeting police facilities and a Pakistani air force bus.

The officials said that the men were involved in working with explosives when the strike occurred.

One of the officials said al-Kini was al Qaedas operations director for Pakistan and believed to be behind the September 20 Marriott car bombing that killed 53 people.

The official also said al-Kini also was behind a failed attempt to kill Benazir Bhutto shortly after she returned to Pakistan from exile in October 2007. (ANI)

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