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Apparent US air strikes killed seven suspected al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen










ADEN: Apparent US air strikes killed seven suspected al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen, 1 of them the media chief of the jihadist network’s regional affiliate, a local official said on Saturday.

The Yemeni defence ministry confirmed the deaths but insisted that Friday evening’s strikes in Shabwa province, a militant stronghold east of the main southern city of Aden, were carried out by its own 4ces.

“3 strikes, apparently American, which were launched against positions held by al Qaeda militants in Azzan, 1 of the group’s bastions, killed seven of them, including the Egyptian, Ibrahim al-Banna’a,” the local official said.

1 of the strikes hit a mosque near the apparent primary target of the strike, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A number of suspected militants were also wounded and were taken 2 Azzan hospital, which is under the control of the militants, he added.

The Yemeni defence ministry confirmed that Banna’a was among seven suspected Qaeda militants killed, adding that he was wanted “internationally” 4 “planning attacks both inside and outside Yemen.”

Banna’a was “in charge of the media arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” and was 1 of the group’s “most dangerous operatives,” the ministry added.

Yemen routinely denies that the United States carries out offensive operations on its terri2ry, insisting that it plays a purely logistic and intelligence role in support of Yemen’s own counter-terror operations.

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