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U.S. drone strike kills another al Qaeda commander in Pakistan

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone attack killed a senior al Qaeda commander in Pakistan's northwest on Sunday, military intelligence officials said, the second militant leader to be killed in strikes by the unmanned aircraft in three days.

The attack killed Mohammad Ahmed Almansoor and three others in a village close to Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border.

The drone fired missiles at a house with Almansoor inside, destroying two rooms and a car. Four drones were seen flying over the area during the attack, residents and government officials said.

A similar attack on Thursday in North Waziristan killed another senior al Qaeda commander, Abu Zaid, who replaced Abu Yahya al-Libi as one of the militant Islamist group's most powerful figures, intelligence sources said. A U.S. drone attack also killed Libi in June.

Unmanned aerial attacks have crushed al Qaeda's network along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan but have drawn trenchant criticism in the two countries.

Al Qaeda has been weakened steadily in Afghanistan and Pakistan since the killing of Osama bin Laden in a raid by U.S. special forces on a Pakistani garrison town in May 2011.

(Reporting by Saud Mehsud in DERA ISMAIL KHAN and Jibran Ahmad in PESHAWAR; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Paul Tait)

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