The story last week about the missile attack on a village in Pakistan targeting Osama bin Laden’s top aide, Ayman al-Zawahri, has taken another turn. Upon further review it turns out that several high value targets are believed to have been killed in the attack.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) – Pakistani intelligence agents hunted Wednesday for the graves of four al-Qaida militants believed killed in an airstrike near the Afghan border – including at least one suspected high-ranking al-Qaida figure.
ABC News and The New York Times reported that Pakistani officials believe a master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert for al-Qaida was killed in the attack on the village of Damadola last week. He was identified as Midhat Mursi, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, who ran an al-Qaida training camp and has a $5 million reward on his head.
Also killed, Pakistani officials believe, was Khalid Habib, the al-Qaida operations chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, ABC said. The Times, however, said officials were uncertain about whether he was killed.
The Times also reported that Pakistani officials believe Moroccan Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi, the son-in-law of al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the man who ran the group’s propaganda in the region, was killed in the strike. ABC described al-Maghrebi as a senior operations commander.Local pro-Taliban clerics and sympathizers are suspected in the disappearance of the bodies of Habib, Mursi, and other foreign militants believed to have been killed in the strike.