US targets al-Qaida leader, further strains Pakistan ties

June 5, 2012 01:05

A series of drone strikes over the weekend and a confrontation on Monday near the border town of Peshawar between US diplomats and local police added new strains to already tense relations between the United States and Pakistan.

US and Pakistani government sources said Abu Yahya al Libi, a senior Al Qaeda leader who had survived previous drone attacks, was a target of one of the latest strikes, which occurred early on Monday in North Waziristan.

US government sources said they were unable to confirm Abu Yahya had been killed. But officials said he was regarded as a very senior aide to al-Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri, and that his death would be a major blow to what remains of the central al-Qaida network founded by the late Osama bin Laden.

Abu Yahya is a Libyan militant who has appeared in al Qaeda promotional video messages and once escaped from a US-run prison in Afghanistan.

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