An American drone attack Monday in northern Pakistan targeted al-Qaeda’s second in command, it was reported.
It is unclear if Abu Yahya al-Libi, a senior aide to the terrorist organization’s leader Ayman al-Zawahri, was actually killed in North Waziristan close to the Afghan border, according to Al-Jazeera television.
“He has not been killed. This is not the first time claims have been made about his death. The Americans are suffering heavy losses in Afghanistan so they have resorted to making false claims,” a militant commander in the region told Reuters.
However, Pakistani intelligence officials told the news agency that they believe Libi was likely killed in the drone strike along with six other militants. The drone strike targeted a compound in the restive province.
“People are looking very closely to see whether he’s still alive,” one American official, who requested anonymity, told the New York Times. “It’ll take some time for people to gain a high level of confidence that he’s dead. But he’s No. 2 in al-Qaeda, and this would be a major blow.”