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Al-Qaeda Says 'No. 2' Leader Killed In Yemen


Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula says its leader 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 on June 16 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.

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

Germany's dpa news agency said the drone attack had taken place in Mukalla.

Al-Qaeda sympathizers had also tweeted that Wuhayshi had been killed and it was reported by Yemeni media outlets.

Wuhayshi was second-in-command of Al-Qaeda after Ayman al-Zawahri and was on a U.S. list of most-wanted fugitives for planning attacks in the United States.

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