Al-Qaeda confirms commander's loss.
Al-Qaeda confirms commander's loss
Janullah Hashimzada - Aug 1, 2008 - 14:07
PESHAWAR (PAN): The al-Qaeda network, led by elusive Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, confirmed on Friday the death of a leading commander in an American airstrike in southeastern Afghanistan.
Ahmed Suleman, a spokesman for the dreaded organisation, said in a statement emailed to Pajhwok Afghan News the prominent Arab commander perished in the American raid in the volatile Paktika province.
Several companions of Abu Abdallah al-Shami - who led Arab, Pakistani, Uzbek and Chechen fighters in the troubled region where violence has escalated in recent months - were also eliminated in the attack.
Shamis death came three years after his escape from the Bagram Airbase along with three other hardened militants on July 12, 2005. One of the escapees, Saudi citizen Abu Naser al-Qahtani, was captured a year later while Omar al-Farooq died in a British airstrike earlier.
Still at large is Abu Yahya al-Libi, who has been active in recent years, releasing videotaped speeches in praise of al-Qaeda leaders. Calling for jihad against the foreign forces in Afghanistan, the high-profile militant leader often urges youths to swell al-Qaeda ranks.
In the statement, al-Qaeda chief in Afghanistan Abu Yazid Muhammad Mustafa resolved to seek revenge on US, Afghan and other foreign forces for the killing Shami and other mujahideen. He called the commanders death a huge loss.
"Al Qaeda announces the martyrdom of one of the heroes and field leaders who performed well in facing the modern crusade, our brother Abu Abdallah al-Shami," the statement said.
God had destined him to become a martyr,'' the statement added. Al-Yazid asked the slain commanders family to exercise patience in this hour of grief. "Following his release, Shami resumed jihad with even stronger zeal, he added.
On July 13, Ahmad Suleman said commander Abu al-Hassan al-Saeedi was killed in a clash with Afghan and American forces. Saeedi (48), hailing from Yemen, was chief of al-Qaeda training camps in Paktia and Khost during the jihad against the Soviet forces
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