The U.S. has so far no confirmation of the killing of al Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri in a drone strike in Pakistan, both the State and Defence departments have said, contradicting Premier Yusuf Raza Gilani’s claim that Washington had confirmed the death.
“I don’t have any confirmation of that,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference, when asked about news reports from Pakistan in which Mr. Gilani apparently said that the U.S. has confirmed the death of Kashmiri in a drone attack.
When asked about Kashmiri’s killing, Mr. Gilani told a news conference in Quetta on Monday: “As far as the death of Ilyas Kashmiri is concerned, America has confirmed that his death occurred on Friday”. But Mr. Toner said there was no confirmation yet.
“I’m aware of those press reports, but I don’t have any... I both have no comment and no way of confirming his death,” he said.
The Pentagon too said it has no confirmation of Kashmiri’s death. “The Department of Defence has no confirmation (on the death of Kashmiri),” Pentagon spokesman, Col Dave Lapan, told reporters during his off camera daily briefing when asked to comment.
Kashmiri is believed to have died in a U.S. drone attack in South Waziristan last Friday but there has been no official confirmation of the killing.
Kashmiri’s militant group HuJI, though has confirmed on its own that its commander had died in the drone strike.
The bodies of the nine people killed in the drone strike were buried immediately and officials could not reach the lawless region.