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Drone strike kills al Qaida planner

A CIA drone strike has killed a key al Qaida operative who was planning attacks on the West, a US official has said.

The official said the strike on January 10 hit Aslam Awan, who was described as an "external operations planner" inside the organisation.

The strike was one of the first after a hiatus of some six weeks after a controversial friendly fire incident at the border in which US forces fired on Pakistani border outposts, killing 24 Pakistani troops in a case of mistaken identity.

US officials have continued to hit al Qaida targets after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May.

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