DUBAI (AFP/Reuters) - A US airstrike in North Waziristan killed an Al-Qaeda leader, Khaled Bin Abdel Rahman al-Hussainan, while he was having dinner after a day of fasting, the group announced late Friday.

The militant, also known as Abu Zaid al-Kuwaiti, was killed when he was having a late dinner after fasting during the day, the group said in a brief statement posted on several jihadist websites.

“We announce the martyrdom of Sheikh Khaled al-Hussainan who died as he was having his sohur meal and we pray to God to accept him in heaven,” the statement said.

US television network NBC News quoted terrorism experts saying that the militant, a 46-year-old Kuwaiti, was a second generation leader of Al-Qaeda.

They said he was among those who could have replaced Ayman al-Zawahiri as head of the extremist network, adding that the militant had been killed in a drone attack.

Meanwhile, tribal sources also confirmed on Saturday a US drone attack had killed senior Qaeda commander in the latest blow to the militant group that has been targeted in many similar attacks.

Abu Zaid was killed in the drone strike on a hideout in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, one of the tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan, early on Thursday, the sources said. Zaid had just moved to the hideout a few days ago, they said.

Security officials based in North Waziristan said they were aware of the death of a senior Qaeda commander but could not confirm his identity or rank.

Zaid replaced Abu Yahya al-Libi as one of Qaeda’s most powerful figures in June after Libi was killed by a US drone strike. Ten others were also killed in that attack.

Unmanned aerial attacks have crushed Al-Qaeda’s network along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan but have drawn trenchant criticism in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda has been weakened steadily in Afghanistan and Pakistan since the killing of Osama bin Laden in a raid by US special forces in May 2011.