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UNITED States forces were today believed to have launched a missile strike on a remote village in Pakistan targeted at Osama Bin Laden's second in command.
Military sources say the attack on a village near the Afghan border may have killed five top al-Qaida operatives, including Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The strike, which reports claim was a CIA raid, is thought to have killed at least 18 people, though it was unclear whether al-Zawahiri was among the dead.
The Pakistani information minister said he was unable to confirm the attack, although a senior government official was reported as saying that "there is 50-50 chance that some al-Qaida personality was at the home".