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Al Qaeda No. 2 killed by US drone - official

June 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's northwest tribal region has killed al Qaeda's second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, an official said.

The death is a significant blow to the terror network, which has lost a string of leaders at the hands of the American drone program.

Al-Libi was considered a hero in militant circles for his 2005 escape from an American prison in Afghanistan. He became al Qaeda's No. 2 when Ayman al-Zawahri replaced Osama bin Laden after a Navy SEALs team killed him.

White House spokesman Jay Carney al-Libi as an operational leader and a "general manager" of al Qaeda. He said al-Libi had a range of experience that will be hard for al Qaeda to replicate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.