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Yemen says regional deputy al-Qaeda chief killed

  • Said al-Shihri, the second-in-command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been killed in southern Yemen, according to government officials.

    Al-Shihri was reportedly killed with six others in an operation in the Hadramawt area.

    Some reports say Yemeni troops were involved while others suggest it was an air strike, possibly a U.S. drone attack.

    Al-Shihri, a Saudi national, was released by the U.S. from detention in Guantanamo Bay in 2007.

    Yemen has in the past announced it has killed al-Shihri. His death this time is yet to be confirmed.

    In recent months, the Yemeni army has ramped up it efforts in fighting Islamist militants in the south of the country.

    AQAP was formed in January 2009 through a merger between two regional branches of the international Islamist militant network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

    It is headed by Nasser Abdul Karim al-Wuhayshi, a former personal assistant to Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.