Al-Qaeda Leaders's Aide Killed

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Pakistani officials say they are investigating whether a suspected militant reported killed in ongoing clashes in a nearby tribal region was a senior al-Qaeda commander.

The suspected militant was killed this week in clashes in the Bajur tribal region, where the Pakistan army continues to attack.

Top intelligence officials say the militant - Abu Saeed, a close aide of al-Qaeda No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahiri , had died. But they did not have the body for positive identification.

The confusion is over whether the man killed is actually Mustafa Abu al-Yazeed, who had appeared in videos released by al-Qaeda. That man is also known by the alias Abu Saeed al-Masri. Pakistani authorities were trying to confirm whether the Abu Saeed reported killed was the same man.

According to CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck, the two militants - al-Masri and al-Zawahiri are longtime associates.

"They spent time in prison together during the early 1980s for their role in the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat," Stakelbeck explained. "He went on to join al-Qaeda along with al-Zawahiri and became the group's chief financial manager, according to the 9/11 Commission. His death is a significant loss for Al-Qaeda."

Separate Attack

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb struck a Pakistan air force truck in a northwestern city on Tuesday. It is believed 14 people were killed in the attack.

The blast hit the vehicle on a bridge on the outskirts of Peshawar, the provincial police chief said.

Pakistan's Interior Ministry chief said al-Qaeda-linked militants were likely behind the attack.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press

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