Aden: A top member of the Al Qaida network in Yemen has died of wounds suffered in a drone strike carried out earlier this month in the eastern province of Shabwa, a tribal chief said on Saturday.
Adel Al Abab, also known as Abu Al Zubair and believed to have been the Sharia chief in Al Qaida’s Yemen branch, died hours after he was targeted by a drone in the village of Saeed in Shabwa, the tribal leader said.
The drone strike was carried out earlier in October, he said, without specifying the exact date, but added that several militants including an Egyptian member of the terrorist organisation were killed in it.
Al Abab jumped out of his car and attempted to run away when he saw the drone “but he was hit in the head by a shrapnel”, the tribal leader said.
“We buried [Al] Abab and an Egyptian comrade in a cemetery in Saeed, while other dead [militants] were taken to their villages,” he added.
US drones that are deployed in the region have backed Yemeni forces in combating militants of the Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap), who remain active in the country. Al Qaida took advantage of the weakness of Yemen’s central government during an uprising last year against now ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seizing large swathes of territory across the south.
But after a month-long offensive in May launched by Yemeni troops, most militants fled to the more lawless desert regions of the east.