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Originally published November 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 23, 2008 at 3:45 AM

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Airline-plot suspect may have died in U.S. strike

A U.S. missile strike might have killed a Pakistani-British man who was implicated in a plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners, Pakistani intelligence officials said Saturday.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A U.S. missile strike might have killed a Pakistani-British man who was implicated in a plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners, Pakistani intelligence officials said Saturday.

Rashid Rauf, who has been a fugitive since escaping from Pakistani custody in December, was thought to have been among five militants killed in the strike near the Afghan border, the officials said. Pakistani media also reported the death, citing security sources.

The failed 2006 airline plot, which centered on use of liquid explosives, affected millions of air travelers around the world, prompting tighter restrictions on carry-on items allowed on commercial flights. A British court in September convicted three men originally charged in the plot, but authorities considered the verdict inconclusive and sought a retrial of the principals.

In the past three months, American forces have carried out a wave of more than 20 missile attacks aimed at militants sheltering in Pakistan's tribal areas, which abut the border with Afghanistan.

U.S. officials generally decline to confirm or deny responsibility for the attacks.

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