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Al Qaeda Cleric Killed in US Drone Strike in Yemen

Published: 05th February 2015 06:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2015 06:42 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

SANAA: A Yemen-based Al Qaeda group Thursday said its senior cleric was killed in a US drone strike in the country's southeastern province of Shabwa.

In a statement, the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said Harith al-Nadhari was among four militants who were killed in the US drone strike that took place in a mountainous area in Shabwa province Jan 31, Xinhua news agency reported.

The terrorist group vowed revenge for the death of al-Nadhari, who was a senior cleric and advisor for the network, according to the statement.

On Jan 31, a US drone strike hit a car carrying several Al Qaeda members in Shabwa, leaving four terrorists dead, a government official told Xinhua.

On Jan 10, al-Nadhari who appeared in an online video praised attacks against the Charlie Hebdo magazine and at a Jewish supermarket in Paris, threatening with more attacks "if they did not stop abusing Muslims".

In the five-minute video posted by the AQAP, al-Nadhari warned France "to stop aggression against Muslims or to face more attacks as punishment".

Yemen, an impoverished Arab country, has been gripped by one of the most active regional Al Qaeda insurgencies in the Middle East.

AQAP, which emerged in January 2009 and also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, had claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on some Western countries.

In 2009, AQAP claimed responsibility for an attempt to bomb a US-bound airliner by sending Nigerian bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who visited Yemen and had been trained by the militants there.

Last month, Washington said it has not suspended anti-terror operations against the Al Qaeda activities in Yemen after the country's Shia Houthi group took over the capital Sanaa.

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