Senior al Qaeda commander Abu Mustafa al-Yazid reported killed in Pakistan
According to a Pakistani security official, Al Yazid, known also as Abu Saeed al Masri, died in recent clashes with Pakistani forces in the Bajaur tribal region near the Afghan border. Nearly 160 people have been killed in those clashes since last Wednesday.
He is described as commander of al Qaeda operations in Afghanistan and the most senior a Qaeda operative to be killed since the death of al Qaeda’s bomb and chemical weapons expert Abu Khabab al-Masri last month.
The unverified claim of his death comes a day after the Al Qaeda number two Ayman al Zawahri broadcast a video – speaking in English for the first time – in which he repeatedly criticised Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, and said the country was “virtually ruled by the American embassy”.
Musharraf is fighting against the government parties’ bid to unseat him by impeachment.
An Egyptian, al-Yazid served time in jail with Zawahri after the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981.
He was named in the 9/11 Commission as the operation’s paymaster