Pakistan says senior al-Qaeda official killed in shootout

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Location of Pakistan

A Saudi Arabian man named Abu Marwan al-Suri, 38, suspected of being a senior al-Qaeda "bag man", was killed in a shootout on Thursday, according to the Pakistan army spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan. It is believed he has been killed at a checkpoint in Khar, a town in the tribal district of Bajaur, Pakistan, when he opened fire on security officials from inside a car. According to Sultan, al-Suri opened fire when asked to stop his car. Al-Suri wounded two people and killed one Pakistani security official.

"His death is quite a significant blow to al-Qaeda," said officials.

Al-Suri is believed to be one of several senior al-Qaeda officials targeted in a United States lead airstrike in January in the Damadola village of Bajaur, Pakistan against Ayman al-Zawahiri, which killed at least 18 civilians and several militants. Zawahiri was not killed in the strike. Suri was also believed to be giving money to the families of Iraqi militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as well as other militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Al-Suri is also believed to have been a close associate of Zawahiri.

"He was giving them money every three months," said officials.

Pakistani officials say they have his body and that it will be examined to determine its true identity at a hospital in the city of Peshawar.

Officials also say a notebook with instructions in Arabic on making bombs and explosive devices was found with al-Suri. The notebook also contained diagrams and drawings of circuits.

Sources

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