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Guard: Al Qaeda chief in Pakistan killed

  • Story Highlights
  • Abu Haris dies following a missile attack in northwestern Pakistan, guard says
  • He was al Qaeda's new chief in Pakistan
  • Missiles hit the compound of a key Taliban commander
  • The guard said the death toll from the attack had climbed to 25
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(CNN) -- The newly appointed al Qaeda chief in Pakistan, Abu Haris, has died of his wounds after a missile attack in northwestern Pakistan, according to a guard who was also wounded in the attack.

The guard said the missiles hit the compound of a key Taliban commander. Asked about the report, the White House had no comment.

The guard said that the death toll from the attack has climbed to 25 and that at least 20 were injured.

The guard said three other al Qaeda members died Tuesday from injuries sustained in Monday's attack: Abdullah, a Saudi; Abu Hamza, another Saudi; and Zain Ul Abu Qasim, an Egyptian.

The strike apparently targeted Jalaluddin Haqqani, a key Taliban commander who has played a major role in the fight against U.S. forces in Afghanistan, sources said Monday.

Missiles struck Haqqani's residence and madrasa, or religious school, killing two of his three wives and one of his sisters, said his son, Mulawi Jalaluddin Haqqani Badradin.

Haqqani was in Afghanistan when the missiles hit and was not hurt, his son said.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Army, Major Murad Khan, confirmed an explosion Monday morning in North Waziristan, a region near the Afghan border that is rife with Islamic extremists, but he and other spokesmen for the armed forces had no other details.

Four missiles were fired on a madrasa near the city of Miran Shah, sources said, killing three and wounding 12.

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It was unclear where the missiles were fired from, but CNN's Nic Robertson reported residents saying they saw two predator aircraft fire missiles at Haqqani's compound.

Haqqani was among the mujahadeen fighters who received U.S. help to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He more recently has played a major role in fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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