Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jihadist identifies 2 AQAP fighters killed in recent drone strike

Nabil al Kaldi and Abdullah Bawazir. Image from the SITE Intelligence Group.

A Yemeni jihadist has identified two of the five al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula members who were killed in a US drone strike in eastern Yemen on Dec. 24. The two AQAP fighters escaped from a Yemeni prison 18 months ago.

The jihadist announced "the martyrdom of the two mujahideen brothers Abdullah Bawazir and Nabil al Kaldi" in a statement that was released today on the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Mujahideen forum, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated the statement. Images of the two fighters, including photographs taken after their deaths, accompanied the announcement.

"They were martyred after an American drone strike with three rockets at a group of mujahideen near al-Watan stadium in the city of al Shehr, al Mukallah, today," the jihadist continued, according to SITE. The identities of the other three fighters are not yet known.

According to the jihadist, Bawazir and al Kaldi appeared in an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula video titled "Story of Salvation," which documented the June 2011 escape of the two fighters and other AQAP operatives from the Mukallah prison. In that incident, 46 inmates, including many al Qaeda operatives, escaped from the Mukallah prison after tunneling under it. The prisoners were said to have been aided by a "renegade military commander."

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