Al-Qaeda man killed in Pakistan: Sources
An Arab Al-Qaeda terrorist was killed in a gunbattle with Pakistani soldiers in a restive tribal area bordering Afghanistan.india Updated: Apr 21, 2006 14:13 IST
An Arab Al-Qaeda terrorist was killed in a gunbattle with Pakistani soldiers in a restive tribal area bordering Afghanistan, security sources said on Friday.
The insurgent was named as Abu Marwan al-Suri, a possible Saudi national, the security officials said.
The officials said the man was killed near Khar, the main town in the Bajaur tribal district, where a US missile strike targeted and missed Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri in January.
Security forces stopped Al-Suri at a checkpoint in the rugged and largely lawless area because he was not a local person.
"They called him down for a body search and questioning. He came out of the vehicle then all of a sudden started firing at the paramilitary forces. They returned fire," one official said.
One source said Al-Suri may have killed himself to avoid capture.
Chief military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan confirmed that a suspected foreign militant and a paramilitary trooper were killed in a shootout in Bajaur but said the man had not yet been identified.
Sultan said the suspect's body was undergoing DNA tests to establish his identity. He said it was unclear whether he had died in the crossfire or shot himself.
A report in the Dawn newspaper said that Al-Suri himself was one of the targets of the January raid in Bajaur, which killed 18 civilians and a handful of Al-Qaeda suspects.
The incident comes a week after a top Al-Qaeda operative indicted for the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa was believed to have died in a Pakistani military strike in north Waziristan, another tribal region.
Egyptian-born explosives expert Abdul Rahman Al-Muhajir -- who carries a $5 million bounty on his head and is also known as Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah -- is thought to have been killed along with seven other militants.