Al-Awlaki 'death blow to al-Qa'ida'

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The reported killing of the radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has potentially dealt a "significant blow" to al-Qa'ida, Foreign Secretary William Hague said today.

US officials said that American-born al-Awlaki was killed in a strike on his convoy in Yemen early today.

He had been linked to a number of terrorist attacks in recent years, including the attempted suicide bombing of an airliner heading for Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

"If confirmed, the death of Anwar al-Awlaki is another significant blow to al-Qa'ida," Mr Hague said.

"With the attempted Detroit bombing and the aeroplane cargo bomb plots he has demonstrated his intent and ability to cause mass terror, whilst his murderous ideology was responsible for inspiring terrorist attacks in the UK and the US.

"We must keep up the pressure on al-Qa'ida and its allies and remain vigilant to the threat we face."