US strike kills senior Al-Qaeda official in Yemen: intelligence group

DUBAI (AFP) - A US air strike in Yemen last month killed the senior Al-Qaeda official who appeared in a video claiming the deadly January attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, a monitor said Thursday.

Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, who was killed in the April strike along with his eldest son and other fighters in the port city of Mukalla, also appeared in Al-Qaeda videos claiming the capture and death of US hostage Luke Somers, SITE Intelligence Group said.

The announcement of his death came in a video posted Thursday on Twitter by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - which Washington considers the international terror network's deadliest branch.

The air raid appears to have been carried out overnight on April 21-22, when witnesses in Mukalla said an apparent US drone strike on a vehicle parked near the presidential palace in the city killed six suspected Al-Qaeda militants.

SITE described Ansi as "a senior AQAP official and military strategist".

Ansi appeared in the video released on January 14 in which AQAP claimed it had carried out the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris to avenge its publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

He also appeared in video productions about the holding and death of American hostage Somers. The United States is the only country that operates drones over war-torn Yemen.

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