Al Qaeda-linked terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri, a key suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, and Taliban commander Amir Hamza were killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan's restive South Waziristan tribal region, officials and local residents said.
Kashmiri included along with Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahiri in a list of five most wanted terrorists drawn up by the US was among nine militants killed in the drone strike carried out late last night.
Three militants were injured in the attack.
"Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami 313 Brigade confirms the martyrdom of our leader Ilyas Kashmiri in a US drone strike on June 3, 2011 at 11.15 pm," HuJI spokesman Abu Hanzala said in a hand-written fax message sent to Pakistani media groups.
"We will take revenge (for the killing of) our leader from the US," the statement said.
Kashmiri, 47, was killed when US drones targeted Laman village, 20 km from Wana, one of the main towns in South Waziristan Agency.
He was reportedly sitting in an apple orchard with other militants and had come to the area shortly before the missile strike.
Amir Hamza, a resident of Wana and a commander of the Mullah Nazir faction of the Taliban, was killed in the same drone strike, local journalists said.
Mullah Nazir has an agreement with the government and many Punjabi Taliban fighters are believed to be living in Wana and surrounding areas that are controlled by his group.
The bodies of the militants could not be identified but there was strong evidence that Kashmiri had been killed, officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels.
Kashmiri''s death is another blow to al-Qaeda and its affiliates as it comes just over a month after Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.