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One of Pakistan’s most wanted militant commanders, Ilyas Kashmiri, was killed in an American drone strike in the tribal territory of South Waziristan, the New York Times reports, although Pakistani and American officials remain unable to confirm his death. Kashmiri was suspected of being behind attacks including the May 22 battle at the Mehran naval base in Karachi, and the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, India, in which at least 163 people were killed, including some American citizens.

According to the Times, Kashmiri's death "could go some way to alleviating the strained relations" between Pakistan and the U.S., particularly after the covert raid on Osama bin Laden. At the time, Pakistan accused the U.S. of pursuing its own agenda in Pakistan without coordinating with Pakistani security forces. But Kashmiri was wanted by both countries and could have been a good target for renewed intelligence sharing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that this "coup for the U.S." could also help backers of drone strikes in the U.S. government "push back against calls from some Obama administration officials to scale back the attacks," because they are widely hated by Pakistanis, who see them as a violation of sovereignty. Opposition to the strikes grew this year after a CIA contractor shot and killed two Pakistanis in the street. On the other hand, Kashmiri's death may shine a light on potential behind-the-scenes cooperation between Pakistan and the U.S. in drone attacks. While Pakistani leaders publicly criticize the attacks, Al-Jazeera reports that analysts say "killing high-value targets like Kashmiri would not be possible without Pakistani intelligence."

People in Pakistan continue to be "angry" about the unpopular attacks. On Saturday, there was a public protest in Karachi, where thousands of workers of the main Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, rallied in opposition to the drone attacks, Al-Jazeera reports. Protesters chanted "Stop drone attacks," "stop NATO supplies," and "Any friend of America is traitor." But the Washington Post noted that "Kashmiri’s alleged involvement in attacks on Pakistanis was likely to mute the public reaction." Pakistani analysts also told Al-Jazeera that Kashmiri's death is good news for the country, which has failed to subdue armed groups seeking to topple its government despite a series of army offensives.

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