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Drone Strike Kills Top Pakistani Terrorist


Pakistani police officers examine the site of a bomb blast in a bus stand in Matani near Peshawar, Pakistan, June 5, 2011

Pakistani police officers examine the site of a bomb blast in a bus stand in Matani near Peshawar, Pakistan, June 5, 2011

Just hours after Pakistan said one of the country's most wanted terrorist leaders had been killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike, a bomb blast in the northwest region of the country has killed six people.

Police say the explosion Sunday at a bus stop in Matani, a town near the city of Peshawar, wounded at least 10 people.

On Saturday, Pakistani intelligence sources said that senior al-Qaida leader Ilyas Kashmiri died along with eight other militants in an attack on a location in South Waziristan.

Kashmiri's own militant group, Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, or HUJI, confirmed his death in a fax to news organizations, saying Kashmiri was "martyred" Friday.

The United States had designated Kashmiri a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" and offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

Intelligence officials regarded Kashmiri as one of the most dangerous and highly trained terrorist operatives. Pakistani officials suspected him of masterminding last month's attack on a naval base in Karachi, in which a handful of militants held off Pakistani forces for about 17 hours.

Officials have also tied Kashmiri to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people. The U.S. blames Kashmiri's group for the March 2006 bombing of the U.S. consulate in Karachi that killed four people and wounded 48 others. A U.S. grand jury indicted Kashmiri in 2010 in connection with a plot to attack a Danish newspaper.

This is not the first time Pakistani officials have said Kashmiri was killed. They previously said he had been killed in a suspected drone strike in 2009.

Kashmiri's killing comes about a month after U.S. special forces entered Pakistan and killed al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden in his hideout near Islamabad.

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