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Yemen says senior al-Qaida member killed

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[July 21, 2011]  SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemen says a senior leader of the country's al-Qaida branch has been killed in fighting in the nearly lawless south of the country.

A Defense Ministry statement said Thursday that Ayed al-Shabwani was killed in fighting near the town of Zinjibar, a provincial capital that has been held by al-Qaida-linked militants since May.

The statement said one of the leader's cousins, Awad al-Shabwani, was also killed in the fighting on Tuesday, but it gave no further details.

Al-Qaida in Yemen has been taking advantage of the turmoil arising from months of anti-regime protests across much of the poor Arab nation, seizing and holding territory in the south. Al-Qaida's growing presence in Yemen has been a source of serious concern to the United States and Yemen's rich Arab Gulf neighbors.

[Associated Press; By AHMED AL-HAJ]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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