Sunday, February 12, 2006
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb. 11 -- Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, said Saturday that a U.S. missile attack last month killed a close relative of al Qaeda's No. 2 leader and a terror suspect sought by the United States.
It was the first time that Musharraf has provided details about those killed in the strike. Until now, he has only said that "foreigners" had died.
"Five foreigners were killed in the U.S. attack in Bajur. One of them was a close relative of Ayman Zawahiri and the other man was wanted by the U.S. and had a $5 million reward on his head," Musharraf told a gathering of tribal elders at the interior minister's residence in the northwestern city of Charsada.
Musharraf did not offer the names of the two militants killed in the Jan. 13 attack, which officials also said killed about a dozen civilians, including women and children.
But Pakistani intelligence officials have said that they were Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar and Abdul Rahman al-Maghribi.
Maghribi was a Moroccan and relative of Zawahiri, possibly a son-in-law.
Umar, 52, an Egyptian, has been described by the Justice Department as an expert in explosives and poisons.
The strike in the remote northwestern town near the Afghan border sparked massive protests in Pakistan, and the Foreign Ministry lodged a protest with the United States.
Musharraf said Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's personal physician and top deputy, had been expected to be in the town for a dinner. But Pakistani officials have said Zawahiri, an Egyptian, did not attend the event and instead sent his deputies.