Washington: The United States has no confirmation that Ilyas Kashmiri, the al Qaeda leader and a key planner behind the gruesome 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, has been killed in a US drone attack, a top Pentagon official said on Monday.
“No confirmation,” Pentagon spokesman Col Dave Lapan told reporters during his off camera daily briefing when asked about news reports coming from Pakistan that Kashmiri has been killed.
“The Department of Defense has no confirmation (on the death of Kashmiri),” he noted when told that Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said today that the US has confirmed the death of Kashmiri.
Gilani told a news conference in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, that “as far as the death of Kashmiri is concerned, America has confirmed that his death occurred on Friday”.
47-year-old Kashmiri, a former Pakistani army commando on whose head the US had put a price of USD five million, was killed on June 3 when a predator drone fired four missiles at a compound in Ghwakhwa area of Pakistan’s restive South Waziristan.
His outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami confirmed his death in faxed messages to Pakistani TV channels.