A senior Al Qaeda leader and three others were killed today in a US drone strike in Pakistan's restive North Waziristan tribal region, the second time a top terrorist has died in an attack by the CIA-operated spy planes in less than a week.
Mohammad Ahmed Almansoor was killed when drones targeted a compound in Tabi village located a short distance from Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, security officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels.
Some reports said the three others killed in the attack were members of Almansoor's family. Local residents said they had seen several drones hovering over the area after the attack.
On Thursday, another Al Qaeda commander, Sheik Khalid bin Abdel Rehman al-Hussainan alias Abu Zaid al-Kuwaiti, was killed when in a drone strike that targeted a compound in Mir Ali town of North Waziristan Agency, security officials said.
Earlier this year, Al-Kuwaiti had replaced Abu Yahya al-Libi, Al Qaeda's second-in-command who too was killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan in June.
Al-Kuwaiti was buried in a village near Mir Ali on Friday. His wife and daughter too were wounded in the drone attack. His wife later died in a hospital in Miranshah. The drone strikes have killed several senior Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in the tribal belt over the past few years.
Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in the US military raid in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad in May last year.
The US has continued its drone campaign in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, especially North and South Waziristan, despite strong protests from Islamabad, which describes the attacks as counterproductive and a violation of the country's sovereignty.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf conveyed Pakistan's opposition to drone strikes to US Ambassador Richard Olson and said the two sides should find "alternative ways to eliminate terrorists". The premier met the envoy hours after a drone strike in North Waziristan.