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At yet another politically expedient juncture for the White House, a top Al Qaeda commander is said to have been killed in Yemen by a missile fired from a drone.
The bombing comes one day after Yemeni forces said they killed Said al-Shihri, second in command of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
If DNA testing confirms his death, it "would be a deeply significant blow against AQAP," CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.
There were conflicting reports on how Shehri died.
A Yemeni security source said Shehri was killed in an operation last Wednesday in the Hadramout that was thought to have been carried out by a US drone, rather than the Yemeni military.
The source said another Saudi and an Iraqi national were among the others killed.
US officials declined to comment on whether a drone strike had occurred.
US officials described Shehri as one of the most important al Qaeda-linked militants to be released from the Guantanamo detention facility, where he was taken in January 2002 after being handed over by Pakistan to U.S. authorities.