Pakistan says it killed one of al-Qaida's
top leaders in its operation against the terror network earlier this month.
Pakistani officials have not disclosed the identity or the nationality of
the alleged al-Qaida terrorist. A senior government minister told VOA the United
States had offered a $5 million reward for the militant.
Earlier, Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid revealed to reporters in
the capital that the al-Qaida suspect was killed during Pakistan's recent operation
in South Waziristan agency, a tribal area near the border with Afghanistan.
The minister said the dead man was among al-Qaida's top 15 leaders, but he
refused to provide further details.
The October 2 operation in Angor Adda left eight alleged al-Qaida militants
and two Pakistani soldiers dead. Another 18 were detained and are now being
Officials involved in the operation said all the suspects killed were foreign
nationals, but did not specify from which countries they came.
While the identity of the al-Qaida leader killed in the operation remains
a mystery, several key members of the organization carry $5 million bounties
from the U.S. government. They include Jaber al-Baneh, of Yemen, accused of
organizing an al-Qaida sleeper cell in the United States.
Another $5 million reward has been posted for Habis Abdullah al-Saoub, who
fought against the Soviet occupation forces in neighboring Afghanistan in the
As part of the U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition, Pakistan has captured more
than 500 al-Qaida suspects, including several key leaders. Most of those captured
are in U.S. custody.