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Wanted Al Qaeda militant killed

April 21, 2006

KHAR, April 20: A suspected Al Qaeda militant and a security official were killed in a shootout near here in the Bajaur tribal region on Thursday, a security official said.

He identified the militant by his alias of Abu Marwan, a Saudi national, known for expertise in explosives.

The official said that Abu Marwan was wanted by the US and he was one of the targets of a US air raid at Damadola village in Bajaur on January 18.

Abu Marwan’s real name, however, could not be ascertained. His body was taken to Peshawar for a DNA test.

Sources said that the administration in Bajaur had been tipped off by an intelligence agency about the movement of an Al Qaeda suspect. The authorities deployed Bajaur Levy personnel on a road leading to Khar.

The Levy personnel stopped a passenger coach and asked a suspect to disembark. The suspect pushed a Levy guard and tried to escape.

According to one version, the suspect pulled a gun and opened fire, killing Hawaldar Salim Khan on the spot and injuring two other Levy soldiers. The soldiers retaliated and shot Abu Marwan dead.

A second version said that the suspect opened fire at the guards who had chased and eventually got him.