A U.S. official said Thursday that a man known as Abu Hafs al-Shahri, identified as al-Qaeda's chief of operations in Pakistan, had been killed earlier this week in Waziristan (NYT, Guardian, Tel, WSJ, AFP, CNN, Post, BBC, Reuters, ET, AP, CBS, ABC, DT). While officials have not confirmed the cause of death for al-Shahri, a former bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, it is believed that he was killed in a drone strike Sunday that targeted a vehicle and house in North Waziristan. Officials said that al-Shahri's death "removes a key threat in Pakistan," though Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said that al-Shahri's death had not been confirmed (Post, Reuters).
In Karachi, police and paramilitary Rangers have detained at least 100 people believed to be involved with the current outbreak of violence in the city (ET, Dawn). On Thursday, police formally booked the head of the Sindhi nationalist party Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Bashir Qureshi, on charges of possessing illegal weapons (Dawn). Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain called Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday to discuss the violence in Karachi and the flooding in Sindh (Dawn). The continued flooding has prompted prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to cancel his planned trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly meeting next week (Tel, Tel, AP, ET).