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Embassy: Top Yemeni militant killed in weekend airstrike

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:04 AM EDT, Tue April 24, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • One of the top militants of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was killed in an airstrike
  • The airstrike happened over the weekend in Yemen
  • Mohammed Saeed Al-Umda was 4th on Yemen's most-wanted list

(CNN) -- A top commander of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was killed last weekend in Yemen, the Yemeni Embassy in Washington announced Tuesday.

Mohammed Saeed Al-Umda, alias Ghareeb Al-Taizi, was killed when an airstrike targeted a militant convoy Sunday in the remote desert region of Al-Samdah, in the Marib's Al-Wadi district, the embassy said. Al-Umda was ranked 4th on Yemen's most-wanted list.

U.S. drone activity has increased in Yemen, though the embassy did not specify whether it was a drone strike or which country carried out the airstrike.

Al-Umda provided logistical and financial support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and commanded several military operations in Yemen, the embassy said in a statement. He trained in Afghanistan under the supervision of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the embassy said.

Al-Umda escaped from prison in 2006, where he was serving a sentence for supporting an attack on a French oil tanker. In 2008 he was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison for targeting Yemen's energy infrastructure, the embassy said.

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