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Two Top Al Qaeda Operatives Killed

A U.S. counterterrorism official confirms that two al Qaeda operatives, who were on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list, have been killed in a missile strike in Pakistan's tribal areas.

The dead are identified as Usama al-Kini, al Qaeda's operations chief in Pakistan, and Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, a top lieutenant.

At left: Al-Kini and Swedan (right) are seen in artificially age-enhanced images from an FBI Most Wanted poster.

Both men were involved in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa, and more recently they had been tied to a string of suicide attacks in Pakistan, including last September's car-bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad. Kini also was behind a failed 2007 assassination attempt on former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

U.S. officials will not comment on the specifics of the missile strike which was carried out by a predator drone Jan. 1.

Kini is described as being "among the top 12 al Qaeda operatives." Salim Swedan was a lower ranking member of bin Laden's group.

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