The death of Abu Hafs in a Pakistani tribal district follows the killing of Al-Qaeda''s number two Atiyah abd al-Rahman last month, and comes amid stepped up US drone strikes following the killing of Osama bin Laden in May.
"It has been confirmed that Al-Qaeda''s chief of Pakistan operations, Abu Hafs al-Shahri, was killed earlier this week in Waziristan, Pakistan," the official said on condition of anonymity.
"Abu Hafs'' death will further degrade al Qaeda''s ability to recover from the death last month of Al Qaeda''s number two, Atiyah, because of his operations experience and connections within the group." "Abu Hafs'' death removes a key threat inside Pakistan, where he collaborated closely with the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan to conduct coordinated attacks." Security officials in Pakistan told AFP earlier this week that a US drone strike killed at least four militants in Waziristan. It was unclear if the attack was the one which killed Abu Hafs.
In Sunday's strike, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, an unmanned aircraft fired two missiles, hitting a vehicle and a house in Hisokhel village in the lawless North Waziristan tribal district.