US-born radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a key al-Qaeda leader, has been killed in Yemen, the country’s defence ministry said.
US President Barack Obama said his death was a major blow to al-Qaeda.
Awlaki, of Yemeni descent, has been on the run in Yemen since December 2007.
The US named him a “global terrorist” and said he had played a “significant role” in plots to blow up US airliners and use poison to kill US citizens.
Mr Obama is said to have personally ordered his killing last year.
Yemen’s defence ministry statement said only that Awlaki had died in Khashef in Jawf province, about 140km (87 miles) east of the capital, Sanaa, “along with some of his companions”.
US and Yemeni officials later named one of those as Samir Khan, also a US citizen but of Pakistani origin, who produced an online magazine promoting al-Qaeda’s ideology.
Amazing how many major blows occur…
** Lots of Senior Officials Spilling State Secrets Today
** Ron Paul condemns killing of U.S.-born al-Qaida cleric
** Same US military unit that got Osama bin laden killed Anwar al-Awlaki
** Anwar al-Awlaki and America’s fear of the enemy within
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