Islamabad, Jul 16: Al-Qaeda-linked militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri, who was reported to have been killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan’s tribal belt last month, is still alive, according to a media report today (Jul 16).
Kashmiri, the chief of the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami is still alive and active in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dawn News channel quoted its sources as saying.
Security officials of the US and Pakistan have failed to confirm the death of Kashmiri, the sources said.
The dreaded commander, a key suspect in the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the alleged mastermind of the terrorist strike on a naval airbase in Karachi in May, was reported to have been killed a US drone strike in South Waziristan on June 3.
Several questions have been raised about a statement purportedly issued by HuJI about Kashmiri’s death in the drone strike.
A photograph said to be of Kashmiri’s corpse that was issued by HuJI was actually that of a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba team that attacked Mumbai in November 2008.
Nearly two years ago, Kashmiri was reported to have been killed in another drone strike but that was debunked when the militant commander was interviewed by Syed Saleem Shahzad, the reporter who was recently abducted and killed in mysterious circumstances.
Anti-terrorism experts have described Kashmiri as one of al-Qaeda’s main operational commanders in Pakistan.