Yemeni army kills chechen Qaeda commander

Yemeni army kills chechen Qaeda commander
Sat May 3, 2014 22:57:40

The Yemeni army has killed a top al-Qaeda operative with Chechen links as it carried out an offensive against militant hideouts in the restive south, according to a defense ministry statement.


Yemeni military authorities identified the commander on Saturday as Abu Islam al-Shishani, saying that he was the second foreign militant killed so far this week since the military launched its latest offensive on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

News of his death came as Yemeni authorities blamed AQAP for a suicide bombing at an intelligence post that wounded two guards, and after gunmen killed an army officer in Aden.

Shishani was killed "during military operations... against terrorist elements in Abyan" province, said a statement posted on defense ministry website.

He had reportedly fought against Russian forces in Chechnya before moving to Yemen to join AQAP, a merger of the network's Yemeni and Saudi branches.

This is while the Yemeni defense minister announced Friday that local militant commander Abu Muslim al-Uzbeki had been killed in clashes, also in Abyan province.

A security official said Uzbeki travelled in 2011 from Uzbekistan to Yemen, where he was named an AQAP leader in Abyan.

The army's ground offensive backed by warplanes is aimed at clearing the jihadists from their remaining strongholds in villages and smaller towns of Abyan and neighboring Shabwa province.

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