Top Pakistani militant reportedly killed by U.S. drone
Strike takes down al-Qaeda ally
A U.S. drone strike reportedly killed a senior militant in Pakistan, Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani intelligence official told media outlets Saturday.
Kashmiri was one of Pakistan's most wanted men as he was considered one of the most highly trained and dangerous militants in the country, the New York Times reports.
He has been believed to be behind some of the deadliest attacks in the region. Authorities suspected Kashmiri, who was allied with al-Qaeda, to be behind several attacks including last month's assault on the naval base in Karachi and connected to the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people.
The attack by a pilotless drone aircraft hit a house in South Waziristan, a region on the border with Afghanistan, considered the headquarters for Kashmiri's militant group, Reuters reports.
A local intelligence official allegedly gave the tipoff to U.S. forces of Kashmiri's location.
"We were closing in on him and he switched off his satellite phone and cellphone and he wanted to cross the border to Afghanistan to find a hiding place," the official told Reuters. "It was a tipoff by us since we were closely monitoring his movements."
The attack also killed five of Kashmiri's allies and two other militants, it states.
The killing comes a month after U.S. forces found and killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Kashmiri's death was misreported in September 2009 when there were claims that he was killed in a drone attack, but he later emerged unharmed.
Kashmiri's group, Harkat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI), told a Pakistani television station that the militant's death is accurate, Reuters reports.
The HUJI has 3,000 militia members and is classified as a terrorist organization with al-Qaeda ties, states the Christian Science Monitor.