Al-Qaeda chief of operations in Pakistan killed in Waziristan
Washington, Sept 16(ANI): Al-Qaeda's chief of operations in Pakistan, Abu Hafs al Shahri, was reportedly killed in the country's Waziristan tribal region this week.
The death of al Shahri, who played a "key operational and administrative role" for the group, was labelled as a blow to al Qaeda's core group present in Pakistan, The Express Tribune quoted a US official, as saying on the condition of anonymity.
Al Shahri's death, said the official, will also pose a challenge for Ayman al Zawahiri, who took over the terror group's command after the then Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert US raid on his hideout in Pakistan's garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2.
The US official also said that al Shahri was a contender to assume the group's second in command Atiyah Abd al Rahman's duties.
Al Shahri "coordinated al Qaeda's anti-US plotting in the region, and worked closely with the Pakistani Taliban to carry out attacks inside Pakistan," the official added.
The US official did not comment on the circumstances leading to al Shahri's death, however, earlier this week, the media had reported that at least three people had been killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan on September 11.
On August 22, a US drone strike in North Waziristan had led to the death of al Qaeda's second in command, Atiyah Abd al Rahman.
Another senior US administration official confirmed to paper that al Shahri had been killed in Waziristan earlier this week.
"Al Shahri's death will further degrade al Qaeda's ability to recover from the death last month of al Qaeda's number two, Atiyah, because of his operations experience and connections within the group. Al Shahri's death removes a key threat inside Pakistan, where he collaborated closely with Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan to conduct coordinated attacks," the official said. (ANI)
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