The purported leader of an Al Qaeda front group in Iraq has released an audio eulogy for a top Al Qaeda commander killed during a U.S. raid. It is the first confirmation of his death by the group.

The Islamic State in Iraq's leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, describes slain commander Abu Qaswarah as a "unique, beloved and close knight whose departure is painful and hard."

The U.S. military announced last week that Abu Qaswarah was killed in Mosul along with four others. The U.S. says the Moroccan was the No. 2 leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq and that he trained in Afghanistan and recruited foreign fighters.

Al-Baghdadi also says several others were killed along with Abu Qaswarah. His audio message appeared Wednesday on a militant Web site.