Top Al-Qaida commander killed

Friday, February 1st 2008, 3:40 pm
By: News 9 and the Associated Press

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A top al-Qaida commander was killed by an airstrike in Pakistan late Monday or early Tuesday, said a government official.

The official said Abu Laith al-Libi was killed by an unmanned drone in an attack near the Afghanistan border. The drone, known as Predator, is a remotely piloted reconaissance aircraft that can be armed with anti-tank missiles and was developed by the CIA.

Al-Libi, whose name means "the Libyan," was probably behind a February 2007 bombing at the U.S. base at Bagram, Afghanistan that killed 23 people, said government officials. Vice President Cheney was visiting the facility at the time of the bombing.

An intelligence official in the area said the strike against al-Libi killed at least 12 people including Arabs, Turkeman from central Asia and local Taliban members.

A Web site that frequently carries announcements from militant groups said al-Libi had been "martyred."