Senior Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Yemen

According to the US Navy Times Ayed al-Shabwani, a leading figure of Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula, was killed last Tuesday during a fight with government forces near the city of Zinjibar, the capital of the governorate Abyan.

In a statement the Yemeni defense ministry claimed that Ayed al-Shabwani and his cousin were killed during heavy fighting in the southern city of Zinjibar. Al-Shabwani was one of the most wanted militant leaders in Yemen, authorities blamed him for a series of high-profile attacks on security and police forces.

He was already reported killed after the Yemeni air force bombed Wadi Adeeda area, 185 Kilometers east of Sanaa last January but shortly afterwards al-Qaeda issued a statement, denying that anybody was killed in the attack.

The Zinjibar was taken over by al-Qaeda militants after heavy fighting in May and saw heavy fighting last night and this morning, with air force planes and artillery pounding the city. As usual either side claimed victory by having inflicted heavy casualties on the respective other side. Credible and confirmed information seems to be unavailable at the moment.

(Sources: Navy Times, Huffington Post; 21 July 2011)


About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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