AP source: Drone attack kills al-Qaida member

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 11:38 PM

A U.S. government official says a top al-Qaida operative has been killed in a drone attack in western Pakistan.

The official would not immediately identify the target of the attack, which he said occurred very recently. However, he said it was neither Osama bin Laden nor Ayman al-Zawahiri, the terrorist network's top two leaders. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the classified program publicly.

The drone attack was first reported Wednesday night by NBC News.

Intelligence officials have confirmed that the pace of attacks by armed unmanned aerial vehicles has increased during the Obama administration.