Al Qaeda admits Yemen, Pakistan commanders killed

Two high-ranking Al Qaeda leaders are dead, the terrorist organization announced today, saying Muhammad al-Hanq died in Yemen and Badr Mansoor died after a drone strike in Pakistan.

A US drone strike near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border killed Mansoor last month, The Associated Press said.

He was alleged to have trained operatives for attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Hanq, who reportedly died of an undisclosed illness, evaded American troops two years ago after threatening western targets, AFP reported.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) made the announcement, which was intercepted by SITE Intelligence Group. SITE, which monitors extremist websites, also reported the Mansoor death.

“May Allah’s vast mercy be upon him,” the statement said, according to AFP. “The Sheikh died on his bed after storming fields of death, and he escaped several times from certain death at the hands of his enemies among the crusaders and their henchmen, who lied in wait for him over the past years.”

Meanwhile, the Yemen army attacked and killed 8 Al Qaeda militants during a raid in Jaar, The Associated Press said.

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The attack was in response to AQAP’s assault on an army base that killed 200 Yemeni soldiers.

Al Qaeda has intensified its efforts in Yemen, taking advantage of political instability.

Thousands also demonstrated today in Yemen demanding reform.

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