SANAA, Yemen — An airstrike killed al-Qaida's No. 2 leader in Yemen along with five others traveling with him in one car on Monday, senior Yemeni Defense Ministry officials reported. If confirmed, Saeed al-Shihri's death would be a major blow to the militant group.
They said the attack killed al-Shihri, a Saudi national, as the al-Qaida in Yemen deputy left a house in the southern Hadramawt province with his five companions.
The officials say the missile was believed to have been fired by a U.S. operated drone. The U.S. doesn't usually comment on such attacks but has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.
The Yemeni officials were confirming a brief Defense Ministry statement sent to Yemeni reporters on their mobile phones. A senior official at the Yemeni president's office confirmed the attack, but said DNA tests have yet to establish al-Shihri's identity. The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Al-Qaida's Yemen branch is seen as the world's most active, planning and carrying out attacks against targets in and outside U.S. territory. If confirmed, the death of al-Shihri would be a major blow to the group as it faces a major crackdown in the south. The Yemeni military has retaken several towns that had been captured by the terror network during political unrest inspired by the Arab Spring last year.
- Canada man finds an Elizabeth Gallagher for...
- Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in...
- 10 Things to See: A week of top AP photos
- Final goodbye: A roll call of some who died...
- Abused children die as officials across the...
- Feisty former NYC schools chief cuts loose on...
- Tired of interruptions, one priest found the...
- A post-election flurry: Obama tests his powers
- Obama: US re-establishing diplomatic... 49
- End gun violence, say faith leaders on... 33
- Vermont governor abandons single-payer... 31
- Police: 3 dead, including gunman, in... 18
- Sony cancels 'The Interview' Dec. 25... 15
- Taliban assault on Pakistan school... 13
- Utah football's Hackett, Orchard named... 11
- So wait? Pets don't go to heaven? 9