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Army says Yemen Qaeda chief killed in fighting - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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An anti-government protester takes part in a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh at Tagheer square in Sanaa. (R)

An anti-government protester takes part in a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh at Tagheer square in Sanaa. (R)

ADEN, (AFP) — Ayad al-Shabwani, a leader of Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been killed in fighting with the army, a military source said on Thursday.

Shabwani was killed on Tuesday in heavy fighting that continued into Wednesday between the army and suspected Al-Qaeda militants near Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, east of the main southern city Aden, the source said.

The official Saba news agency had said earlier that “two prominent members of the Al-Qaeda leadership were killed … in Abyan province,” naming them as Ayad al-Shabwani and Awad Mohammed Saleh al-Shabwani.

Yemen had said before that Ayad al-Shabwani was killed, along with five other leaders, in a January 15 air strike on a convoy of vehicles. Three days later, AQAP denied that either Shabwani or the five others had been killed.

Militants believed to be linked to Al-Qaeda took over much of Zinjibar in late May, and have been battling security forces ever since, displacing thousands of residents.

Yemen is the ancestral homeland of veteran Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a US commando raid in Pakistan on May 2.

By-standers watch as a booby-trapped car burns after an explosion in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden. (R)

By-standers watch as a booby-trapped car burns after an explosion in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden. (R)

Anti government protesters take part in a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh at Tagheer square in Sanaa. (R)

Anti government protesters take part in a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh at Tagheer square in Sanaa. (R)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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