PESHAWAR—Agence France Press reports Egyptian Abu Jihad al-Masri—described by the U.S. as Al-Qaeda's propaganda chief—was killed in a missile strike in Pakistan.
Al-Masri was among several rebels killed when two missiles fired by a suspected spy drone hit a truck in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Oct. 31.
"The strike was aimed at a vehicle carrying Abu Jihad and two others. The target was successfully hit and all three people were killed," a senior Pakistani security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
There was no immediate confirmation from the Pakistani military or from NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan about al-Masri's death.
The U.S. State Department's 'Rewards for Justice' Web site said that al-Masri "is in charge of Al-Qaeda media and propaganda. He may also be the chief of external operations for Al-Qaeda." It said he was believed to operate out of Iran, but Pakistani officials said he was known to have moved to the Pakistani tribal belt in 2005 or 2006. The Web site also said he went by the alias Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim.
In 2006, al-Masri appeared in a video introduced by his fellow countryman Zawahiri, in which al-Masri said that his own Islamic group had joined forces with Al-Qaeda.
Militant sources in Pakistan said al-Masri was primarily involved in "ideology" and not so much with Al-Qaeda's operational side.
A former member of Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib, told AFP in Cairo that al-Masri used to belong to the same Islamist group that assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981, leading a cell in the southern Aswan province.
"He was a second generation leader, not from the generation involved in killing Sadat," he said.
The last Al-Qaeda figure on the State Department list to be killed in a missile strike was chemical weapons expert Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, who died in July in the South Waziristan tribal region.
Among those wounded in the Wana attack Oct. 31 was Mullah Nazir, a top Pakistani Taliban commander accused of engineering attacks on international forces deployed in Afghanistan, officials said.
Security officials said that Abu Akash, an Arab Al-Qaeda militant reported to have been killed in the first missile attack, now appeared to have escaped.