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White House Confirms Al-Qaeda 'No. 2' Killed In Yemen

The White House has confirmed that the deputy leader of Al-Qaeda, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, has been killed in a U.S. air strike in Yemen, and said that the militant's death was a "major blow" to the terror network.

"The president has been clear that terrorists who threaten the United States will not find safe haven in any corner of the globe," the White House said in a statement on June 16.

Earlier on June 16, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had said that Wuhayshi, who was the leader of the AQAP branch of the terror group, was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

Khalid Batarfi, a senior member of the Al-Qaeda branch based in Yemen, said in an online statement that Nasser al-Wuhayshi had been killed in an "American strike" along with two other Al-Qaeda members.

Batarfi said Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had met and appointed former military chief Qassim al-Raymi as Wuhayshi's replacement.

On June 15, Yemeni national security officials had said that Wuhayshi -- who was once a close associate of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden -- was killed on June 12 in the Hadramout region.

Based on reporting by CNN, Reuters, dpa, and The Washington Post