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Pentagon Says IS Leader In Libya Killed In U.S. Air Strike

The Pentagon said a top leader of the Islamic State extremist group in Libya was killed in a U.S. air strike overnight.

Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi, was an Iraqi national and an Al-Qaeda operative, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement on November 14.

Cook said Abu Nabil may also have been the spokesman in a February 2015 video showing the execution of Coptic Christians.

"Nabil's death will degrade ISIL's ability to meet the group's objectives in Libya, including recruiting new ISIL members, establishing bases in Libya, and planning external attacks on the United States," Cook said using another acronym for the extremist group.

The Pentagon spokesman said the operation against Abu Nabil was "authorized and initiated prior to the terrorist attack in Paris" late on November 13.

Earlier, the AP quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying the air strike hit a command and control center near the eastern port city of Darnah, killing Abu Nabil and others with him.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP