Commander of Al-Qaida Killed in Yemen-U.S. Airstrike
    2010-09-16 17:20:14     Xinhua      Web Editor: Han
 
The Yemen-based al-Qaida regional wing said Thursday one of its filed commanders, a former Guantanamo detainee, was killed in a Yemeni-U.S. air raid early this year.

"Hani Abdu Mosleh Shalan, a filed commander in the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed in a Yemeni-U.S. join air strike on a camp in southern Yemen early this year," said the group's statement posted on jihadist forums.

It said Shalan was caught by the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks on the United States. He was sent to Guantanamo military jail for his participation in anti-U.S. war in Afghanistan alongside with Sheikh Osama bin Laden after 9/11.

The statement said Shalan was freed from Guantanamo and sent to the Yemeni authorities where he was finally released.

Early 2009 he joined the AQAP to become a leader of armed affiliate in southern Yemen where he carried out with his group a number of attacks against Western and Yemeni interests, according to the statement.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida network leader Osama bin Laden, has witnessed a series of deadly attacks by al-Qaida group across the country since late last year.

On Wednesday, Yemeni explosive experts found remnants of high explosive materials surrounding the key gas pipeline which was bombed in the southeast of the country last Monday, said the country's Interior Ministry.

A local security official said the explosion caused a huge fire and the pipeline was badly damaged, cutting off the LNG supply. "Initial investigations proved that al-Qaida was behind the bombing," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

With the support from Washington, Yemen has intensified crackdown and air strikes on terrorist groups since the Yemen- based al-Qaida arm claimed credit for a failed attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane in Detroit last December.
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