Al-Qaida's no. 2 leader, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan, the Associated Press quoted a senior administration official as saying Saturday.
Al-Rahman, a Libyan national, was al-Qaida's operational leader until the May raid that killed Osama bin Laden. He then rose to the no. 2 spot, according to the AP.
The senior administration official told the AP that al-Rahman was killed on August 22 in the Pakistan's Waziristan region, a tribal area.
Said to be in his 30s, al-Rahman was close to bin Laden and once served as his emissary to Iran. He was allowed to move freely in and out of Iran as part of that arrangement and has been operating out of Waziristan for some time, officials have said.
Born in Libya, al-Rahman joined bin Laden as a teenager in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. After Navy SEALs killed bin Laden, they found evidence of al-Rahman's role as operational chief, U.S. officials have said.
The official would not elaborate to the AP about how al-Rahman was killed, but a CIA drone strike was reported in Waziristan the day he was killed.