Pakistan is investigating reports that a U.S. drone missile strike killed a senior Al-Qaeda commander on September 25 as he traveled in a tribal region near the Afghan border.
If confirmed, the death of Sheikh Fateh al-Masri would be the covert U.S. missile program's latest blow to the terrorist network.
Al-Masri is thought to have replaced Mustafa al-Yazid, who was killed by a missile strike in May and had been characterized by the group as its No. 3 commander.
Meanwhile, NATO has confirmed that Abdallah Umar al-Qurayshi -- a senior Al-Qaeda commander who led attacks along the Pakistan border -- was killed along with several other militants by an air strike during the weekend in eastern Afghanistan.
The United States is thought to have launched 21 missiles into northwestern Pakistan so far in September -- more than double the number fired in any previous month.
Some strikes reportedly were aimed at disrupting suspected terrorist plots aimed at Europe.
compiled from agency reports