Senior al-Qaeda leader Fahd al-Quso, who was on the United States' hit list in connection with the bombing of a U.S. destroyer ship in Yemen in 2000, was killed in an air strike on Sunday, reports quoting Yemeni officials and the terrorist outfit said.
The 37-year-old Yemeni and one of his associates were hit by a missile as they stepped out of a vehicle in Rafd, a remote mountain valley in the southern province of Shabwa.
U.S. did not confirm the strike, which was reportedly carried out by the CIA with the approval of the Yemeni government. A similar U.S. air strike in the al-Qaeda hideout last year had killed U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
Fahd al-Quso was indicted in the southern district of New York for his role in the bombing of USS Cole in the Gulf of Aden on October 12, 2000 in which 17 American sailors were killed.
Listed as one of FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists, the U.S. State Department had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his apprehension or conviction.
Islamic extremism is strong in Yemen, a U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism, where several al-Qaeda-linked attacks have been carried out in recent years.
Most of the attacks, including abductions, are targeting foreign nationals.
Many Western countries were forced to shift their embassies in Yemen following threats from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a local branch of the terrorist network.
by RTT Staff Writer
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