(Reuters) - U.S. war planes killed Aden Hashi Ayro, an Islamist commander thought to be al Qaeda’s top man in Somalia, on Thursday. Below is a list of major al Qaeda figures killed or captured since 2001:
* Mohammed Atef, one of the top leaders of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, was killed in a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan in November 2001.
* Abu Laith al-Libi, one of Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenants who commanded militant forces in Afghanistan, was killed in February 2008 in a suspected U.S. missile strike that also killed up to 13 foreign militants.
* Hareg Zoheir, the deputy chief of al Qaeda’s North Africa wing, was killed along with two other rebels in a gun battle with Algerian troops in October 2007.
* Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. air raid in June 2006.
* U.S. forces killed Muhammed Abdullah Abbas al-Issawi, described as a security emir for al Qaeda in Iraq, in April 2007.
* The U.S. military killed Muharib Abdul Latif al-Jubouri, an al-Qaeda figure accused of involvement in the kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll, in May 2007.
* Police killed Mohammed Yahya al-Rahmani, known as Abu Mussab, and three foreign militants near Samarra in Feb 2008.
* In April 2008 Iraqi authorities captured Nazal Sabar al-Jughaify, also known as Abu al-Jarrah, a senior lieutenant to al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
* Saudi-born Palestinian Abu Zubaydah was arrested after a shootout in the central Pakistani city of Faisalabad in March 2002. Zubaydah was operations director for al Qaeda and the first high-ranking member to be arrested.
* Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni national and one-time roommate of Mohamed Atta, suspected ringleader of the September 11 hijackers, was captured in Karachi in September 2002.
* Security forces arrested Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al Qaeda’s number three and alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, in a raid in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, in March 2003.
* Musaad Aruchi, a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed with a $1 million bounty on his head, was arrested in Karachi in June 2004.
* Tanzanian Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was arrested in the city of Gujrat in July 2004.
* Pakistani intelligence agencies and security forces arrested Abu Faraj Farj al-Liby, mastermind of two failed attempts on President Pervez Musharraf’s life, in May 2005.
* Abu Hamza Rabia, an al Qaeda commander ranked the third most senior leader in the network, was killed in a tribal region of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan in December 2005.
* Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah (also known as Abdul Rehman), an Egyptian al Qaeda member wanted for involvement in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya, was killed by Pakistani forces close to the Afghan border in April 2006.
* Youssef al-Eiery, the leading al Qaeda militant in Saudi Arabia who was believed to be behind the May 2003 suicide bombings in Riyadh which killed at least 35 people, was shot dead by Saudi police shortly after the attacks.
Several of Eiery’s successors, including Khaled Ali Haj, Abdulaziz al-Muqrin and Saleh al-Awfi, were killed by Saudi security forces over the next two years.
* A U.S. air strike on Thursday killed Aden Hashi Ayro, who led al Shabaab militants blamed for attacks on government troops and their Ethiopian allies.
* Yemeni security forces shot dead Yasser al-Homeiqani, an al Qaeda fugitive, in southern Yemen in January 2007.
Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit