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Yemen says Al-Qaeda cleric Awlaki killed

Yemen releases statement confirming the killing of prominent Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki

Reuters , Friday 30 Sep 2011
Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen, 2008, (AP).
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Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric linked to Al-Qaeda's Yemen-based wing, has been killed, Yemen's Defence Ministry said on Friday.

"The terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki has been killed along with some of his companions," it said in a statement sent by text message to journalists, but gave no details.

A Yemeni security official said Awlaki, who is of Yemeni descent, was hit in an air raid and said those killed with him were suspected Al-Qaeda members.

It was not immediately clear if Yemeni forces had carried out the raid or if Awlaki had been killed by a US drone strike. A US drone aircraft targeted but missed Alwaki in May. 

US officials were not immediately available for comment.

Awlaki had been implicated in a botched attempt by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to bomb a US-bound plane in 2009. US authorities have branded him a "global terrorist" but Sanaa had previously appeared reluctant to act against him.

Eloquent in English and Arabic, Awlaki encouraged attacks on the United States and was seen as a man who could draw in more Al-Qaeda recruits from Western countries.

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