Al Qaeda leaders killed in Yemen air strike

Fahd al-Quso al-Awlaki and his nephew Fahed al-Akdam were killed in the air strike in southeastern Shabwa province.

Sana`a: Two wanted terrorists of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have been killed in a US air strike in a mountainous region in Yemen, a media report said.

Fahd al-Quso al-Awlaki and his nephew Fahed al-Akdam were killed on Sunday in the air strike in southeastern Shabwa province, Xinhua reported.

Al-Quso was jailed in Yemen in 2002 for his involvement in attacking US Navy destroyer USS Cole in the country`s Aden port, in which 17 American sailors were killed.

"Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula confirms the killing of its leader Sheikh Fahd al-Quso al-Awlaki in a US air strike on Sunday afternoon in Rafd area in Shabwa," the terror outfit said in a statement obtained by Xinhua.

A Yemeni security official in Ataq, capital of Shabwa, said the air strike targeted the terrorists` vehicle.

Abdul-Elah Haidar Shaiee, a Yemeni journalist in jail for links to the AQAP, said that al-Quso had said in an interview that he was assigned by slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden to attack the USS Cole.

Al-Quso admitted that he collected information and prepared explosives for a suicide boat that hit the US warship, he said.

Yemeni authorities released al-Quso from prison in 2007, and after two years, he was added to the FBI`s list of most wanted terrorists.

In 2010, the US State Department labelled al-Quso as a specially designated global terrorist. He was also added to the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee`s Consolidated List of Individuals associated with al Qaeda and the Taliban.

IANS