SANAA, Yemen, April 25 (UPI) -- An airstrike in northeastern Yemen killed Mohammed Saeed al-Umda, the fourth most wanted al-Qaida leader, the Yemeni government said.
The Yemeni Interior Ministry said al-Umda and two of his aides were killed when his vehicle was struck in a remote desert region, CNN reported.
Two senior security officials told CNN the airstrike was by unmanned U.S. aircraft.
"This is a success for the war on terror. Al-Umda has been on the run for years and his absence will help in limiting the terror network's operation in Yemen," a senior Defense Ministry official said.
The Interior Ministry said al-Umda was one of al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula's top commanders and was responsible for providing logistical and financial support to the terror network.
News of al-Umda's death came as the Yemeni government announced an operation against al-Qaida militants in Shabwa, Abyan, Mareb and al-Baitha provinces. The Defense Ministry said Tuesday at least 52 suspected al-Qaida militants were killed during two days of fighting and airstrikes in Abyan and Shabwa provinces.
U.S. FBI Director Robert Mueller met with Yemeni President Abdurabu Hadi Tuesday in Sanaa to discuss the counterterrorism program in Yemen, CNN said.
A presidential aide said the talks were "a continuation of a series of talks President Hadi [has] had with a number of visiting U.S. officials since February and mainly focused on the U.S. counterterrorism program and supporting Yemen during the transition period."
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