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al qaeda militants
Said al-Shihri, described as the second-in-command of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been killed in an operation in southern Yemen, government officials say.
Said al-Shihri was reportedly killed with six others in the Hadramawt area.
Some reports say Yemeni troops were involved, others that it was an air strike, possibly a US drone attack.
Said al-Shihri, a Saudi national, was released by the US from detention in Guantanamo Bay in 2007.
Yemen has previously announced it had killed Said al-Shihri and his death this time has not been confirmed.
The Yemeni army has been fighting Islamist militants in the south of the country for months.
Said al-Shihri, described as the second-in-command of AQAP, has been killed in an operation in southern Yemen
The Yemeni ministry of defence website said Said al-Shihri was killed along with six other militants in an operation, but gave few details.
Official sources in Yemen said the death occurred in an air raid in the Wadi Ain area of Hadramawt.
Military sources, however, said they had no information on the death and refused to confirm it. But the sources did confirm the area was subject to air raids.
Separate Yemeni sources said another Saudi and an Iraqi national were among the other people killed in the operation, which took place last Wednesday.
Yemeni defence ministry officials told Associated Press that the militants killed were travelling in a car and that it was hit by a missile believed to have been fired by a US drone, although this has not been confirmed.
Other reports say the operation was carried out by the Yemeni military.
US cables released by the Wikileaks website last December suggested that Yemen had allowed secret US air strikes against suspected Al-Qaeda militants.
Then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh claimed the raids were conducted by Yemen’s military when they were in fact carried out by the US, according to the cables.
AP quoted a senior official at President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s office as saying that DNA tests had not yet confirmed Said al-Shihri’s identity.
Said al-Shihri was said to have escaped a US drone attack on 20 September last year on the village of al-Mahfad in Abyan province.
He was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2007 and had been sent to Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation.
The US has labelled AQAP the most dangerous branch of al-Qaeda.
AQAP was formed in January 2009 by a merger between two regional offshoots of the international Islamist militant network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
It is now led by Nasser Abdul Karim al-Wuhayshi, a former personal assistant to Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Al-Wuhayshi took over after two earlier leaders, Khaled Ali Hajj and Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, were killed by Saudi security forces.
The group has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks and has been blamed by US President Barack Obama for attempting to blow up a US passenger jet as it flew into Detroit in December 2009.
In October 2010, the group was accused of sending bombs hidden in two packages addressed to synagogues in the US city of Chicago which were found on planes in Dubai and the UK.
Southern Yemen has been the scene of major clashes between militants and government forces.
The militants took advantage of the uprising that ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh in February to take control of large parts of the area.
Suspected Al-Qaeda militants have attacked the intelligence headquarters of Yemen’s southern city of Aden killing 14 people, officials say.
The militants attacked the building from two sides, firing rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons inside.
The “well-planned” attack took place in Aden’s coastal Tawahi neighborhood.
Al-Qaeda remains active in the area, after a security vacuum was created in a year of protests against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Suspected Al-Qaeda militants have attacked the intelligence headquarters of Yemen's southern city of Aden killing 14 people
Militants have seized large parts of the south and east of the country.
A recent, two-month military offensive backed by the US drove them from their strongholds in towns in the southern Abyan province but many escaped into nearby mountains from where they continue to launch attacks.
Among the dead in the Aden attack were at least 11 soldiers, many of whom were reported to be sleeping when hand grenades were thrown into their rooms.
The militants launched the attack from both sides of the intelligence complex, situated next to a state television building. They then managed to escape.
“The operation seemed to have been well planned,” a security source told Reuters, adding he believed the attackers belonged to Al-Qaeda.
A few weeks ago, suspected Al-Qaeda militants carried out a suicide bombing that killed at least 45 people during a funeral in the city of Jaar.
In May, more than 90 people died in a suicide bomb attack at a military parade rehearsal in the capital, Sanaa.
Gunmen have kidnapped a security agent working for the Italian embassy in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.
The Italian man was taken to an unknown destination from a street near Italy’s embassy in south-west Sanaa, security and diplomatic sources have said.
Police have said they are trying to track down and identify the gunmen.
Gunmen have kidnapped a security agent working for the Italian embassy in Yemen's capital Sanaa
The Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome confirmed the kidnapping to the AP news agency.
Kidnappings of foreigners are common in Yemen and are usually resolved peacefully.
The majority of kidnappings are carried out by gunmen who use captives to make bargains with the Yemeni goverment.
Officials tend to blame tribesmen or gunmen liked to al-Qaeda for taking foreigners.
A French official working for the Red Cross was released earlier this month after being kidnapped in April.
A Swiss woman who was working as a teacher and seized by al-Qaeda militants in March remains a hostage.
Five suspected al-Qaeda militants believed to have planned the 9/11 terror attacks have been formally sent to trial by the United States.
The five Guantanamo Bay inmates, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be tried by a military commission.
The suspects will face charges including terrorism, hijacking, conspiracy, murder and destruction of property.
They could face the death penalty if found guilty, the Pentagon confirmed.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four others – Waleed bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi – are expected to be tried together, the Pentagon added.
They are accused of planning and executing the terror attacks of 11 September 2001, which saw hijacked planes strike New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
A total of 2,976 people died in the attacks.
The five suspects are to hear their charges read out before a military court within 30 days, and are expected to be asked to enter a plea.
The decision to refer the charges to a military commission comes after a lengthy legal wrangle over where the five men would face justice.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in March 2003 and has been detained at Guantanamo Bay since 2006
In 2009 the Obama administration tried to move their trial into US civilian courts, but reversed its decision in April 2011 after widespread opposition.
The five were eventually charged in June 2011 with offences similar to those they were accused of by the Bush administration.
President Barack Obama came into office in 2009 pledging to close Guantanamo Bay and try high-value terror suspects in US civilian courts.
But he was forced to abandon the closure plans as it became apparent that the issue of where to imprison and try al-Qaeda suspects had no easy resolution.
The Pentagon has previously said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted he was responsible “from A to Z” for the 9/11 attacks.
In a previous court hearing he has said that he intended to plead guilty and would welcome martyrdom.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in March 2003 and has been detained at Guantanamo Bay since 2006.
US prosecutors allege that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was involved with a host of other terrorist activities.
These include the 2002 nightclub bombing in Bali, Indonesia, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl and a failed 2001 attempt to blow up an airliner using a shoe bomb.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has alleged that he was repeatedly tortured during his detention in Cuba. CIA documents confirm that he was subjected to simulated drowning, known as waterboarding, 183 times.
Also facing trial are: Waleed bin Attash, a Yemeni; Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni who allegedly helped find flight schools for the hijackers; Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, accused of helping nine of the hijackers travel to the US; and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, a Saudi, accused of helping set up the hijackers with money, clothes and credit cards.
A drone strike on al-Qaeda militants in southern Yemen killed at least 11 people, according to local residents and officials.
According to Reuters news agency, one tribal leader said at least four of the dead were local al-Qaeda leaders.
They were reportedly attacked by a drone in Abyan province.
Islamists began taking control of parts of Abyan last year. Security forces have tried unsuccessfully to push them out and suffered heavy losses.
The details of what happened are not clear, but some reports suggest a convoy of two cars was struck east of Lawdar city.
However, AFP news agency was told by tribal leaders that a control post and a school hosting a midnight meeting of local al-Qaeda chiefs and fighters were targeted in four overnight raids.
Regional al-Qaeda leader Abdul Monem al-Fahtani was among the dead, they said.
“We think they were carried out by American planes,” one tribal source told AFP, on condition of anonymity and without elaborating.
At least 44 people have been killed and more than 150 injured in twin suicide car bombings in Damascus, Syria, officials say.
State television said suspected al-Qaeda militants had targeted two security service bases in the Kafr Sousa area.
But the opposition said the attacks – which came a day after Arab League observers arrived – were staged by the government to justify its crackdown.
The Arab League team are tasked with monitoring whether the government complies with a peace agreement that orders all troops to withdraw from the streets, with the aim of ending the violence.
But human rights and opposition activists said the killings continued on Friday, with security forces shooting dead at least 12 civilians.
More than 5,000 people have been killed and thousands more detained since anti-government protests erupted in March, the UN says.
At least 44 people have been killed and more than 150 injured in twin suicide car bombings in Damascus
The two explosions happened within minutes of each other on Friday morning.
Within minutes, state television said two attacks had been carried out by suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives against the General Security Directorate and another branch of the security services in the up market Kfar Sousa district, south-west of Damascus centre.
“Preliminary investigations showed al-Qaeda was responsible,” it added.
Video footage was broadcast of heavily damaged buildings, with rescue workers combing through burnt buildings and blood-stained debris, and ambulances taking the injured away.
The state-owned news channel, al-Ikhbariya al-Suriya, said the first car bomb exploded outside the offices of an unspecified security agency.
When guards at a nearby compound housing the General Security Directorate went to inspect the aftermath of the first blast, the driver of another vehicle rammed the main gates and detonated the bomb it was carrying, the channel said.
“The explosions shook the house, it was frightful,” Nidal Hamidi, a Syrian journalist who lives in Kfar Sousa, told the Associated Press news agency.
“Gunfire was heard immediately following the explosion and windows up to 200m (670ft) away were shattered,” Nidal Hamidi said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told reporters: “On the first day after the arrival of the Arab observers, this is the gift we get from the terrorists and al-Qaeda.
“But we are going to do all we can to facilitate the Arab League mission.”
Faisal Mekdad was accompanied by the Arab League’s Assistant Secretary General, Samir Seif al-Yazal, who said the nine-strong advance team of monitors would not be deterred.
“We are here to see the facts on the ground,” he added.
“What we are seeing today is regretful; the important thing is for things to calm down.”
The US state department condemned the attacks in Damascus but said they must not deter the Arab League observers from doing their work.