, SANAA, Sep 10 – Yemeni troops killed the second in command of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, regarded by Washington as the jihadist network’s deadliest branch, in a raid in the east, the defence ministry news website said on Monday.
“The Saudi terrorist Saeed al-Shehri, the second man in Al-Qaeda, was killed in a quality operation by the armed forces in Hadramawt,” the 26sep.net news website reported.
“Six other terrorist elements accompanying him were also killed,” it added quoting what it said was a “high-ranking source,” without mentioning when the operation took place.
“Shehri’s death deals a painful blow to what’s left of the terrorist elements.”
AFP could not independently confirm his death.
Shehri escaped death on September 20 last year when US drones carried out several air strikes on the village of Al-Mahfad in Abyan province in the south.
US officials have repeatedly described AQAP as the most dangerous of the jihadist network’s worldwide affiliates.
In January 2009, Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches announced they had merged to form the Yemen-based AQAP.