Al Qaeda Leader Killed by Drone

A U.S. drone strike fired near a Pakistani tribal area near the Afghan border killed a senior al Qaeda officer this week, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Friday.

U.S. officials said it was likely that Saleh al-Somali was killed in the strike Tuesday. Somali was on the Central Intelligence Agency's list of the top 20 al Qaeda targets, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Pakistani officials said the drone strike also killed Abu Yahya al-Libi, another top al Qaeda leader, but American officials disputed the claim, the New York Times reported.

Though little is known about Somali, it was likely that he was involved in attacks against the U.S. and Europe, the New York Times reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Somali maintained relationships with al Qaeda's East African affiliates, such as al Shabaab, a Somalian terrorist group.

The Obama administration recently approved the expansion of C.I.A. operations inside Pakistan, which includes increasing drone aircraft flying in the country. The plan has yet to be approved by Pakistan's government, the New York Times reported.

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