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Yemen forces kill Al-Qaeda military leader in air strike

Yemen forces kill Al-Qaeda military leader in air strike

[15/January/2010]


SANA'A, Jan.15 (Saba) - Six al-Qaeda elements, including one top regional leader, were reportedly killed in an air strike launched on Friday afternoon by Yemeni air forces in al-Ajasher area, located between Saada and Jawf provinces, northeast Yemen.

The air strike targeted two vehicles of the al-Qaeda group, including Qassim Yahya Mahdi al-Raymi the military leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Al-Raymi, born in 1977, was also known by Abu Hurayrah al-Sana'ani. Al-Raymi was arrested in connection with a series of explosions in the capital Sana’a in 2002. He was charged with being part of the cell that was planning to attack five embassies in the capital.

Al-Raymi was sentenced to five years in prison on 30 August 2004, which was later upheld by the state security court in February 2005.

Al-Raymi was one of 23 men who escaped in the 03 February 2006 prison-break in Yemen, along with other notable al-Qaeda members.

On 21 June 2007, al-Raymi posted an audio statement to an Islamist website announcing that fellow escapee Nasir al-Wuhayshi was the new head of al-Qaeda in Yemen.

On 02 August 2007, Yemen announced that al-Raymi was part of a 10-man cell that was responsible for the 02 July suicide bombing in Marib province, east Yemen, which killed eight Spanish tourists and two Yemeni drivers.

In 2009, the Yemeni authorities accused him of being responsible for the running of an al-Qaeda training camp in the southern province of Abyan.

Al-Raymi, who was considered the No. 3 leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was the target of a Yemeni forces-launched air strike on 17 December 2009 but the Yemeni authorities said later that he had survived the raid that killed 34 al-Qaida terrorists.

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