14 Jan 2010

Alleged al-Qaeda leader killed in Yemen

2:04 pm on 14 January 2010

The alleged leader of an al-Qaeda cell in Yemen has been killed by security forces, which had beseiged the house he was in, according to a provincial governor.

Abdullah Mehdar is said to have been the leader of an al-Qaeda group in the province of Shabwa, 600km east of the capital, Sanaa, the BBC reports

Security officials said Yemeni forces had surrounded the house, in a mountainous region, and exchanged fire with some 20 militants inside.

Reports said four other members of the same cell had been arrested and the remaining militants escaped.

Attention has been focussed on the country after the Yemen-based group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said it had carried out a failed bomb attack on a US-bound passenger plane on Christmas Day.