NPR logo Al-Qaida In Yemen Says U.S. Drone Strike Killed Senior Cleric

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Al-Qaida In Yemen Says U.S. Drone Strike Killed Senior Cleric

A prominent cleric in the Al-Qaida in Yemen organization was among those killed in a drone strike this weekend, the group says. Sheik Harith al-Nadhari was among those who praised the recent attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

From the AP:

"A statement posted Thursday on a Twitter account run by the group said Sheik Harith al-Nadhari was among those killed in the Jan. 31 strike. Al-Nadhari was among the group's few public faces and recently appeared in an al-Qaida video praising last month's deadly attack by militants at the offices of a satirical French magazine."

The strike in Shabwa province, in Yemen's south, was the second deadly attack in less than a week. Days earlier, a U.S. drone struck at Al-Qaida members in central Yemen, killing at least three people, including fighters from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

In both of the attacks, missiles reportedly struck vehicles.

Shabwa resident Jamal Shenaizer tells the Yemen Times that more drones have been flying in the province in the past week.

Citing Shenaizer, the newspaper says that "locals are able to distinguish the humming of a drone from the sounds of other aircraft."