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Last Updated: Friday, 21 April 2006, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
Pakistan confirms al-Qaeda death
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Pakistan's interior minister has confirmed that a man killed in the tribal area bordering Afghanistan was a senior al-Qaeda figure.

Abu Marwan al-Suri, believed to be a Saudi national, died after a clash with security forces in Bajaur tribal area.

Mr Suri was an associate of al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri, officials told the Associated Press news agency.

Mr Suri and Zawahiri are believed to have been the target of a US strike in a house in Bajaur in January.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao told the BBC that Mr Suri's death on Thursday was a major achievement in the "war against terrorism".

A Pakistani security official died and two others were injured during the gunfight which ensued after Mr Suri's car was stopped at a checkpoint.

A security official told Reuters news agency that a notebook had been found on Mr Suri containing a list of al-Qaeda members and their relatives who were to receive funds.

Pakistan's military spokesman Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan had said earlier that DNA tests were being carried out on the suspect's body to determine his identity.

Tribesmen detained

Pakistani authorities detained at least 30 tribesmen in North Waziristan on Friday, a day after seven soldiers were killed and 26 wounded in a militant attack on a paramilitary convoy.

A local official said the arrests had been made under the law of collective responsibility, which means a tribe is held responsible for any crime committed on its land.

US-led forces in January launched air strikes in North Waziristan and in the Bajaur tribal area which left at least 26 people dead.

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf said at the time that "a close relative" of Zawahiri had been killed in the second of those attacks.

Pakistan has deployed nearly 80,000 troops along the border to hunt down militants who sought refuge in the rugged tribal terrain after the ousting of the Taleban in Afghanistan in late 2001.




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