The second-in-command of the al- Qaida network, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, has escaped the recent missile attack and alive, a Kabul-based English newspaper reported Thursday.
"Shikh Zawahiri is alive. Rumors about his death is baseless," daily Outlook quoted an al-Qaida operative Ahmad Suliman as saying.
Reports emanated from Pakistan and the United States last week claimed the killing of Al-Zawahiri in missile attacks last week in Pakistan's Bajuwar agency tribal area.
The missile attack, reportedly conducted by a U.S. army drone, left 18 people including women and children dead, according to Pakistani sources. It has prompted Islamabad to lodge a protest with Washington.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Tuesday that Pakistan cannot accept actions like an air strike on a village that killed 18 people, adding he would bring it up when he visits Washington this week.
Both Al-Zawahiri, his chief Osama Bin Laden and their host, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who are wanted by Washington, are reported to have been moving in the mountainous tribal-belt areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan.