Yemen’s security forces killed an al Qaeda leader suspected of attacks on foreign diplomats on Sunday, the Defence Ministry’s news website said, in a raid north of the capital Sanaa in which four other militants died and four were captured.
A government official said an intelligence officer also died when anti-terrorism units raided a house in Bayt al-Othdri, in the Arhab region, and fought a gunbattle with its occupants.
Four other militants were captured alive, the official said.
The raid was part of an escalating campaign against militants responsible for a wave of attacks across the country.
“The forces exchanged fire with the wanted men who were holed up inside a house,” the official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters. “Five were killed and four were captured.”
The Defence Ministry’s www.26sep.net website quoted “informed sources” as saying that one of the dead was Saleh al-Tais, who it said was involved in the killing in January of Ahmad Sharafeddin, a delegate at national reconciliation talks representing the Shi’ite Muslim Houthi group and a former dean of the law faculty at Sanaa University.
The website said Tais had also been involved in attacks on diplomats and other foreign targets, but gave no details.