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Senior al-Qaeda member killed in Pakistan drone strike

Iraqi Abdul Raheem was killed in a US drone strike last week in North Waziristan tribal region

Senior al-Qaeda member killed in Pakistan drone strike FILE PHOTO

KARACHI, Pakistan

A "senior" Al-Qaeda member was killed in last week’s U.S. drone strike in the restive North Waziristan tribal region, a Pakistani intelligence official said on Tuesday.

Iraqi Abdul Raheem -- in his mid 30s -- was an “important” commander of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the official told Anadolu Agency wishing not to be named as he was not allowed to speak to media.

At least eight suspected militants loyal to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed in the drone strike -- the first since President Donald Trump took office -- on April 26 on the outskirts of the town of Datta Khel, which borders neighboring Afghanistan.

The U.S. carried out the last drone strike in May 2016, when former Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansur was killed in southwestern province of Balochistan.

More than 3,450 people have been killed in 416 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, local media reports said.

According to international think tanks and human rights groups -- including Amnesty International and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism -- 70 percent of drone victims were unarmed civilians.

Reporting by Aamir Latif; Writing by Yannick Demoustier

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