Pakistani official: al-Qaida commander dead

By the Associated Press | June 6, 2011 | 11:12 AM EDT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's Interior Minister says he is 100 percent certain that wanted al-Qaida commander Ilyas Kashmiri was killed in a recent U.S. drone strike.

Rehman Malik did not say Monday how he knew Kashmiri was killed by a missile in a militant sanctuary near the Afghan border. Pakistani intelligence has said the wanted terrorist was killed in a Friday drone strike. U.S. officials have yet to publicly comment on whether Kashmiri was killed.

Malik's has previously claimed the deaths of some Taliban leaders, only to be proven wrong later. His claim comes just hours after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said America had confirmed the death. He did not say who in the U.S. administration told him.

U.S. officials have described Kashmiri as al-Qaida's military operations chief in Pakistan.