WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan has killed Abu Yahya al-Libi, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, according to a U.S. official who has confirmed the death to CBS News.
The White House has confirmed that Libi, who was the target of a Monday morning airstrike, was one of 15 people reportedly killed by two missiles from an unmanned aircraft. The BBC reports that the attack happened on a suspected militant compound in a town near the Afghanistan border. The confirmation of Libi’s death is a devastating blow to al-Qaeda, as he was reportedly second-in-command behind Ayman al-Zawahiri. His role reportedly includes heading up the day-to-day operations for Pakistan’s more tribal areas and lands.
In 2009, the U.S. thought it had killed Libi in a drone strike, but the victim’s identity was mistaken as being Libi. Monday’s drone strike by the U.S. against Pakistan was the eighth in the last two weeks.
Reuters reports that the drone strike was strongly condemned by Pakistan’s foreign ministry, which called it “illegal.”