Senior al-Qaeda leader killed in Yemen airstrike, officials say

A senior leader of al-Qaeda was killed Thursday in a US drone strike in southern Yemen, security officials said. 

Jalal Baleedi and two aides were killed when the drone struck their car in the area of Maraqesha in Abyan province, 427 kilometres south-east of the capital Sana'a, the officials added on condition of anonymity.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) did not make an immediate comment.

Baleedi is believed to have been involved in several deadly attacks in Yemen, including a 2014 assault on government troops in the south-eastern Hadramout province that killed 14 soldiers.

In June, a US drone killed AQAP leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi, a former personal secretary to Osama bin Laden.

Al-Qaeda militants have taken advantage of Yemen's civil war between the Iran-allied rebels and forces of Saudi-backed President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi to expand its presence in the impoverished country.

AQAP is regarded as one of al-Qaeda's most active branches in the world.

Last update: Thu, 04/02/2016 - 12:39

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