Al-Qaida’s No. 2 in Yemen killed in airstrike
Published: September 10, 2012 02:46PM
Updated: September 10, 2012 02:46PM
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FILE - In this undated frame grab from video posted on a militant-leaning Web site, and provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, shows Saeed al-Shihri, deputy leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemeni officials say a missile believed to have been fired by a U.S. operated drone on Monday has killed al-Qaida's No. 2 leader in Yemen along with five others traveling with him in one car. Al-Qaida's Yemen branch is seen as the world's most active, planning and carrying out attacks against targets in and outside U.S. territory. (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group, File)

WASHINGTON • Senior U.S. officials are confirming that the No. 2 al-Qaida leader in Yemen has been killed, dealing a major blow to the terror group.

The officials said Saeed al-Shihri was killed, but could not confirm any U.S. involvement in the airstrike Monday that Yemeni leaders say killed the terrorist and five others.

Yemeni officials said the missile that killed al-Shihri, who was a Saudi national, was believed to have been fired by a U.S.-operated, unmanned drone aircraft. The U.S. doesn’t usually comment on such attacks although it has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.

Two U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information to the news media.