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U.S. kills Al Qaeda-linked militant, but elsewhere terrorism grows

News of an airstrike on Aden Hashi Ayro came on the heels of the State Department's annual report on terrorism, which concluded that Al Qaeda was rebuilding in Pakistan.

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The US hopes its killing of a top Somali militant Thursday will set back an Islamist insurgency that has been gaining ground against Somalia's weak government and its Ethiopian allies.

US officers say the predawn missile strike in Dhusamareb, 300 miles north of Mogadishu, was launched against a "known Al Qaeda target and militia leader in Somalia" who had trained and fought in Afghanistan with Al Qaeda.

News of Aden Hashi Ayro's death comes on the heels of a US global survey that concluded Al Qaeda has been rebuilding its networks from havens in Pakistan, where the number of attacks more than doubled in 2007.

Released Wednesday, the State Department's annual terrorism report attributed 22,685 fatalities to "incidents of terrorism worldwide" last year, an increase of 8 percent over the previous year, while noting that nearly two-thirds of those lost their lives in Iraq.

Al Qaeda and like-minded militants remain "the greatest terrorist threat to the United States and its partners," the report said, despite a nearly seven-year war targeting the group.

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