WANA: Ilyas Khasmiri has been killed in a drone strike in South Waziristan, the Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami confirmed on Saturday.
A fax sent to the media from a person claiming to be the spokesperson of the banned militant organisation stated that Kashmiri had been killed in a US drone strike on June 3. The translation reads:
On behalf of Harkat Jihad alIslami 313 Brigade we confirm the fact that our leader and Commander-in-chief Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, along with other companions, have been martyred in an American drone attack at 11:15 pm on June 3, 2011 and Insha Allah (God willing) the present pharaoh America will see our full revenge very soon. Our only target is America.
(Harkat Jihad alIslami) 313 Brigade
June 4, 2011
The copy of the fax can be seen here.
An official from the political administration of the area has confirmed that Kashmiri has been killed.
Earlier, a report on the BBC Urdu website had stated that Kashmiri had been killed along with eight other people in a US drone strike.
Kashmiri and his group are group linked to al Qaeda and are suspected of launching a 2006 suicide attack on the US consulate in Karachi and carrying out the attack on the PNS Mehran airbase.
A government official, on the condition of anonymity, had told the BBC correspondent that there were reports of Kashmiri being killed but there was no official confirmation. Officials also said that those killed were militants from Punjab.
Locals and witnesses had also said that Kashmiri had been killed in the drone attack.
Last August, Kashmiri was placed on a US list as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” and HUJI was labeled a “Foreign Terrorist Organisation.” HUJI and Kashmiri have also been added to a United Nations blacklist of individuals and entities linked to the al Qaeda and the Taliban.
The article has been revised to make the following correction:
Correction, June 4, 2011
Due to an editing error, the dates in the translation of the fax read January instead of June. The correction has been made.