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Suspected U.S. Drone Strike Kills Top Al-Qaeda Leader In Yemen

A suspected U.S. drone strike has killed a top Al-Qaeda leader in war-torn Yemen.

Jalal Belaidi, alias Abu Hamza, a top commander of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed in the southern province of Abyan early on February 4.

Belaidi is believed to have been sympathetic to the Islamic State (IS) militant group, despite the global competition between Al-Qaeda and IS.

There have been reports that Beliani recently defected from AQAP and became the chief of IS's Yemen branch.

The United States has been conducting drone strikes on the extremists during months of fighting between pro-government forces supported by Saudi Arabia and Iran-backed Huthi rebels who control the capital.

Suspected U.S. drone strikes have killed some of AQAP's top leaders, including its chief, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, last June.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters