Al-Qaeda has confirmed that Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of its offshoot in the Arabian Peninsula, has been killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.
His death was announced by the AQAP group in an online video. His successor was named as military chief Qasim al-Raymi.
Wuhayshi was seen as al-Qaeda’s second-in-command and was a former personal assistant to Osama Bin Laden.
He built one of the most active al-Qaeda branches, say US officials.
In Yemen, resurgent al-Qaeda militants have seized territory and infrastructure – indirectly assisted by Saudi-led air strikes on the rebel Houthi movement, their Shia Muslim foes.
But the deaths of a number of leading figures in AQAP in recent months have reportedly fuelled rumours among supporters that it has been successfully targeted by intelligence agencies.