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Al-Qaeda announces death of Yemen branch leader



The leader of al-Qaeda branch in Yemen, Khalid Saeed al-Batarfi, is dead, the group announced in a video published on social media.

The video, released on Sunday evening, showed al-Batarfi’s body in a shroud.

The cause of his death was not announced.

Al-Batarfi had led Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for four years.

The network in Yemen was formed in a 2009 merger between the Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda and militants from Saudi Arabia who had taken refuge there.

The U.S. had said the branch was “al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate,’’, and placed Al-Batarfi on its terror list, with a 5 million dollar bounty on his head.

In the video, the group announced Sa’ad bin Atef al-Awlaki as the new leader of al-Qaeda branch in Yemen.

He is also included in the U.S. wanted list, with a reward of up to six million dollars on his head for allegedly calling for attacks on the U.S. and its allies.

Cecilia Odey

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