Pakistan: Militant 'survived drone attack'

Mir Ali, 13 Nov. (AKI) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Iraqi-born militant Abu Akash survived a US predator drone attack in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan last month, sources have told Adnkronos International (AKI). Al-Qaeda's third in command, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, is also alive and reports of his killing in the Bajaur tribal area in August were fabricated by Pakistani security agencies, unnamed militant sources told AKI.

Abu Akash (known by his comrades as Abu Akasha) survived the deadly attack on the North Waziristan town of Mir Ali on 31 October, according to the sources.

“Abu Akasha left the house before the US predator drone missile strike in which over two dozen local tribal people were killed. He is healthy and very much in his routine,” the sources maintained.

An announcement of al-Yazid's killing in Bajaur by Pakistani security forces was immediately contradicted by militants.

“It was a cheap publicity shot on behalf of the Pakistani security forces to boast their military successes in Bajaur," the sources said, referring to the reported death of al-Yazid, believed to be Al-Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan.

"Those who know the sheikh are aware that he is not based in Bajaur,” sources said.

In further evidence of his survival, al-Yazid appeared in an Al-Qaeda video that surfaced in September warning 'Crusader' countries against offending Islam.

Abu Akash, who moved to the region three or four years ago, is known to have trained militants of Uzbek and Tajik origin. He has never been part of Al-Qaeda. Like most Arabs based in South Asia he is close to Al-Qaeda's inner circle but is not a member of the terror network or one of its advisors.


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