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    Senior Al Qaeda member dead in Waziristan strike

    ISLAMABAD (PAN): A senior Al Qaeda member was killed in a recent US drone attack in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, a media report said on Friday.

    US authorities claimed the militant leader, Aslam Awan, was killed in a January 10 an airstrike in the restive tribal belt, where a number of senior Al Qaeda and Taliban figures have been killed and detained.

    Aslam Awan, alias Abdullah Khurasani, was resident of the Abbottabad city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The man had served also as a medical officer for some time in Egypt, the report said.

    According to the Reuters news agency, Awan was a significant figure in the remaining core leadership of Al Qaeda. He was an associate of the group's present chief of external operations.

    An unnamed US official was quoted as saying: "Aslam Awan was a senior Al Qaeda external operations planner who was working on attacks against the West. His death reduces al-Qaeda’s thinning bench of another operative devoted to plotting the death of innocent civilians."