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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 May 2005, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Pakistan denies al-Qaeda killing
US troops hunting al Qaeda militants
US and Pakistani troops are hunting for suspected militants
Pakistan has denied US media reports that a senior al-Qaeda leader has been killed on Pakistani soil by an unmanned US Predator drone.

Several US television networks said the al-Qaeda member, Haitham al-Yemeni, was killed near the Afghan border by a missile fired from the aircraft.

Pakistani forces are hunting for Osama Bin Laden in the same area.

Earlier this month, Libyan al-Qaeda suspect, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, was captured in north-western Pakistan.

Haitham al-Yemeni has been under CIA surveillance, US television networks reported on Friday.

But the Pakistani information minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, denied the reports that he had been killed in Pakistan.

"Nothing has happened in Pakistan. If something happened in Afghanistan, we don't know," reports quote him as saying.

American intelligence officials neither confirmed nor denied the reports.


Pakistan has deployed about 70,000 troops to the Afghan border region in its operation against suspected al-Qaeda and Taleban militants.

It believes hundreds of militants, including Arabs, Afghans and Central Asians, are hiding in the area.

The arrest of Abu Faraj al-Libbi was the most significant one since Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, in 2003.

Libbi is said to have been third in al-Qaeda and is wanted over attempts on the life of Pakistan's president.

Since his capture he is being held in a secret location where he is being interrogated.

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