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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Boys killed but 'Al-Qaeda' No. 3/5 not?

This story is interesting but very sad as well, from Reuters via Prison Planet:

Remember a couple of days ago every news site including the BBC reporting Al-Qaeda number 3 or 5 Abu Hamza Rabia killed according to Pakistani authorities: absolutely certain, we got him, Musharraf said "200% sure" etc:

"Rabia, described as al-Qaeda's operational commander, was among five militants killed in a blast in North Waziristan. Officials said the men died when their own explosives blew up, though local people say their house was fired on." BBC

Everyone picked up the US missile bit rather that "their own explosives blew up", but now Reuters says:

"Whatever the cause of the blast, the death of Abu Hamza Rabia would be a coup for Pakistan and the United States which describe him as al Qaeda's chief of international operations.

But his body has not been found.

Sat amid the ruins of his mud and concrete-walled home in the restive North Waziristan tribal agency, Haji Mohammad Siddiq told Reuters his 17-year old son and an eight-year-old nephew were killed in a missile attack, but denied there were any militants present.

"I don't know anything about them -- there were no foreigners in my house," Siddiq said. "I have nothing to do with foreigners or al Qaeda. [...]

Tribesmen in Haisori showed U.S.-marked fragments of missiles they said hit the village early on Thursday. One piece of casing clearly bore the words US and MISSILE.

[..] Confirmation of Rabia's death is based on intelligence reports and message intercepts, intelligence sources said, and Pakistani security forces have still to find a body."


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