ADEN (Reuters) - Yemeni security forces killed a senior al Qaeda leader in a raid in southern Yemen, officials said on Friday, a few days after senior members of the militant group were killed in U.S. drone strikes.
Turki al-Asiri, also known as Marwan al-Mekki, a local commander of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in southern Lahj province, was killed on Thursday, a security source told Reuters. Asiri was described by the source as al Qaeda’s emir (prince) in Lahj — a title held by senior leaders.
Yemen’s Defense Ministry website 26 Sept. said Asiri was chased by security forces and killed when he resisted arrest. Another al Qaeda member, Murad al-Serouri, who wounded and has been arrested, the ministry website reported, citing a security source.
The news follows the killing of a senior al Qaeda leader in Yemen, wanted by the United States, in U.S. drone strikes in central Yemen.
Their deaths deal a severe blow to the Islamist militant group that has repeatedly targeted Yemeni government facilities, army bases and personnel, and even Western missions since mass protests forced long-ruling President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in 2012.
AQAP is one of the most active branches of al Qaeda, and militants have launched attacks from there against the West.
Reporting by Reyam Mukhashaf, Writing by Rania El Gamal, Editing by Angus MacSwan