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Rauf's death is a fake story, claims his lawyer

November 24, 2008 20:24 IST

Al Qaeda terror suspect Rashid Rauf is still alive, his lawyer claimed on Monday, terming the reports that he had died in a United States missile strike in North-West Pakistan as a 'fake story'.

"We don't believe that the story published today that Rashid Rauf is killed is true... It is a fake story. We still believe that my client, Rashid, is alive," his lawyer Hashmat Ali Habib told BBC.

Like his life, Rashid Rauf's death too shrouded in mystery

He said requests for Rauf's body to be returned to his family had not been answered. "This is a new technique of the government to dispose of cases like Rashid or other missing people."

A news report claimed that Britain's intelligence services were kept in the dark about Saturday's US missile attack, on a house in north-west Pakistan, which reportedly killed Rashid Rauf.

A New Holy War

Although his death will take a few days to be confirmed officially, the strike by a Predator drone, armed with Hellfire missiles and precision-guided bombs, was the first time that the US had targeted a British suspect hiding in the lawless North Waziristan region of Pakistan.

The reported killing of Rauf and four other terrorist suspects, including an Egyptian called Abu Zubair al-Masri, appears to have dealt a serious blow to the Al Qaeda's network operating from Pakistan's tribal region.

US strike kills top al Qaeda commanders in Pakistan

Information about Rauf's death was based on intercepted communications between militants in the area. The bodies of the five people killed in the attack were removed by local militants who cordoned off the area, making investigation difficult.

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