Just one day after the Pakistani military killed a high ranking leader of al Qaeda in South Waziristan, a second Al Qaeda commander was killed by an unmanned U.S. drone.
CNN is reporting that Umar Farooq, thought to be the commander of al Qaeda’s forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan on Sunday.
Pakistan’s military, however, is denying the reports, claiming, “There was no drone strike inside Pakistan territory.”
According to CNN’s report, multiple missiles struck a compound in Datta Khel, killing Farrooq and at least four suspected combatants.
According to a report by Dawn, Farooq has served as Al Qaeda’s spokesman in Pakistan, and is suspected to have been a close aid of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. He joined Al Qaeda after 9/11, and has also served as the financial officer for the region.
Farrooq is the second Al Qaeda leader to be killed over the weekend. The Inquisitr reported on a raid by Pakistani military on Saturday that killed Adnan G. El Shukrijumah.
Shukrijumah had a $5 million reward levied against him by the FBI, and was indicted in New York in 2010 after he was identified as the head of Al Qaeda operations for North America. He is suspected of planning a failed attempt to bomb the NYC subway system.
Shukrijumah was shot by members of the Pakistani military during a raid on a house in South Waziristan. The house was thought to contain at least one Arab man and several Chinese hostages. One Pakistani soldier died and one was critically injured in the raid.
The raid came as part of a massive offensive being conducted by Pakistan’s military. The offensive aims to drive the Taliban and Al Qaeda out of the North Waziristan region. To date, the Pakistani army claims to have killed more than 1,100 militants and cleared 90 percent of the region.
In an interview with CNN, retired U.S. Major General James “Spider” Marks said the U.S. military and its allies are in a “persistent state of conflict,” and that we should expect to continue to see similar reports coming out of the region.
Marks also reaffirmed that, even though the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria has been at the forefront of news coverage, the United States has remained focused on its fight against militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.