Aden: Overnight air raids struck an al Qaeda
meeting and control post in southern Yemen, killing around 15
people including a long-hunted regional militant leader,
tribal officials said on Tuesday.
The four raids appeared to have been carried out by US
planes, one tribal official said.
Al Qaeda extremists have taken advantage of months of
political turmoil in Yemen to overrun swathes of the south of
The night-time air strikes were in the Loder and Al-Wadih
areas of Abyan province, one official said.
"We think they were carried out by American planes,"
another tribal official said, speaking on condition of
Three of the raids targeted a school in which Al Qaeda
fighters and chiefs of a local militant network were meeting
around midnight, the sources said.
Around a dozen people were killed, among them regional
Al-Qaeda leader Abdul Monem al-Fahtani, who has long been
sought by the Yemeni authorities, and other local chiefs, they
The fourth strike hit an Al Qaeda control post, killing
three more people, they said.
"Two planes carried out these raids and continued to fly
over the region through the night," a tribal chief said.
An US newspaper reported several months ago that the
United States had stepped up its raids against suspected
militants in Yemen with the aid of drones and other aircraft.