Al-Qaeda: Two leaders dead in US drone strikes in Pakistan
In an audio message released Sunday, Usama Mahmood identified the dead as deputy chief Ahmed Farooq and Qari Imran, in charge of the group's Afghan affairs.
He said a January 5 drone strike in North Waziristan killed Imran, while a later drone strike killed Farooq.
He said Farooq's real name was Raja Suleman and that he graduated from Islamabad's International Islamic University. Mahmoud said Imran's real name was Hidayatullah and that he was from Pakistan's central city of Multan in Punjab province.
Mahmood also lashed out against Pakistan army over its operation in North Waziristan.
"This operation is being carried out under direct supervision of American forces, its leadership and with their direct help through drones and jets," Mahmood said. "Pakistan's army is in fact just providing intelligence against the targets America wants to hit."
Mahmoud said U.S. drone strikes had killed some 50 members of his group. Pakistani officials had no immediate comment on the claims.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri announced the creation of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent in September.
The terror group increasingly finds itself overshadowed internationally by the self-styled Islamic State group, which holds a third of Iraq and Syria in its self-declared caliphate.
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