Pakistan Minister: Al-Qaeda Honcho '100%' Dead
Says Ilyas Kashmiri killed in US drone strike Friday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 6, 2011 6:09 PM CDT
Supporters of the Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami attend a rally against drone attacks, in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, June 4, 2011.   (Fareed Khan)
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(Newser) – Pakistan's interior minister is absolutely positive that wanted al-Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri was killed Friday in a US drone strike. "I can confirm 100 percent that he is dead," Rehman Malik said, though he didn't say how his government knew that or if it had evidence. His statement came just hours after PM Yousuf Raza Gilani told reporters that America had confirmed the death. Malik has previously claimed the deaths of some Taliban leaders, only to be proven wrong later.

Since the US raid that killed bin Laden, missile strikes have picked up after a relative lull this year. Washington says the missiles have killed hundreds of militants, including several top al-Qaeda commanders, since 2008. More than 30 have struck this year, compared to last year's total of about 130.