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ISLAMABAD | A battered al Qaeda suffered another significant blow when Pakistani agents working with the CIA arrested a senior leader believed to have been tasked by Osama bin Laden with targeting American economic interests around the globe, Pakistan announced Monday.

Younis al-Mauritani’s arrest - made public five days before the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks - was seen as damaging al Qaeda’s central leadership in Pakistan, further degrading its ability to mount terrorist attacks abroad.

The terrorist organization has seen its senior ranks thinned since Osama bin Laden was killed May 2 along with Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, the group’s No. 2, in a CIA missile strike last month.

Pakistan’s public announcement of close cooperation with the U.S. spy agency appeared aimed at reversing the widespread perception that ties between the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency had been badly damaged by the U.S. killing of bin Laden inside Pakistan.

The Pakistani military said the arrest of Mauritani and two other al Qaeda operatives took place near the Afghan border in the southwestern city of Quetta, long known as a base for militants. It did not say when.

The arrests were carried out in the past two weeks, according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

JAPAN

Typhoon brings more misery

TOKYO | Japan braced for more heavy rain and floods Monday as the death toll from the worst typhoon to hit the country in seven years climbed to 34.

Rescuers searched for 55 others who remained missing, and tens of thousands of families struggled without power or telephone service.

Typhoon Talas, which was later downgraded to a tropical storm, lashed coastal areas with destructive winds and record-setting rains over the weekend before moving offshore into the Sea of Japan.

Thousands were stranded as it washed out bridges, railways and roads.

The destruction added more misery to a nation still reeling from a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami six months ago.

UKRAINE

Tymoshenko backers scuffle with police

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