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Yemen Al Qaeda group denies that airstrikes killed its leader

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A Yemen-based militant group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), on Monday denied that airstrikes ordered by the Yemeni government last week had killed its chief Qassim al-Raimi, along with five other top militants.

Last week, the Yemeni government had declared open war on the militant group and announced on Friday the death of the militants in airstrikes. If those strikes did fail to hit their targets, it could weaken Yemen's stance that it can tackle the militant threat posed by Al Qaeda without any foreign intervention. In response, Yemen’s interior ministry has promised more airstrikes against Al Qaeda militants in the country.

Meanwhile, on Monday, security forces in Yemen also reported the capture of AQAP second-in-command, Saeed al-Shehri.
 
According to Al Jazeera, AQAP denied in an internet posting that its chief had been killed.
 

 
AQAP did, however, concede that some militants were injured as a result of Friday’s raid on hideouts near Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia, reports The Washington Post.
 
In response to AQAP’s statement, Muttahar al-Masri, Yemen's interior minister, vowed further strikes on Al Qaeda in an interview with the state-owned “September 26” newspaper, reports Reuters.

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