Yemen says it killed al-Qa'ida leaders

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Yemeni forces have attacked suspected al-Qa'ida bases with the help of US intelligence. They targeted a gathering of top militant leaders, possibly killing a radical cleric linked to the US Army major accused of the mass shooting at Fort Hood, officials said.

At least 30 militants were believed to be killed on Thursday, in the second such strike in a week. Pentagon officials could not confirm whether the US-born cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki was killed in the strike. Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico and attended Colorado State University before moving in 2002 to Yemen.

The imam reportedly corresponded by email with Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, last month. Along with Al-Awlaki, the top leader of al-Qa'ida's branch in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Naser Abdel-Karim al-Wahishi, and his deputy Saeed al-Shihri were also believed to be at the meeting, the Yemeni embassy in Washington said. The strike "targeted scores of Yemeni and foreign al-Qa'ida operatives," the Yemeni embassy said. It added that Al-Wahishi, al-Shihri and al-Awlaki "were presumed to be at the site".