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Al-Qaeda Offers Gold for Murder, Capture of Houthi Leader in Yemen

National Yemen

Blast hits a military bus in Yemen- Photo from archive

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) offered a gold bounty for the capture or murder of a rival rebel group’s leader and the former president of Yemen, the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) institute reported on Wednesday.

Al-Qaeda  militants pledged in a video address to give 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of gold to “whoever kills or captures” Abdul Malik Houthi, leader of the Houthi rebels, and Ali Abdullah Saleh, the long-serving president of Yemen who stepped down and paved the way for the current embattled leader.

AQAP’s latest announcement comes against the backdrop of updated figures released on Wednesday by the World Health Organization, which show that nearly 650 people have been killed and over 2,200 injured since the escalation of the conflict in mid-March.

Washington considers AQAP to be the most dangerous and sophisticated branch of al-Qaeda and, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, has killed around 600 of its members in drone strikes over the past 13 years in Yemen.