Al-Qaida's Yemen branch confirms commander's death

SANAA, Yemen - Yemen's al-Qaida branch has confirmed that a U.S. strike killed one of its leaders at the end of last month.

   It said in a statement posted on a militant website Saturday that Qaid al-Dahab was killed by a "perfidious American air raid" in the el-Manaseh region of Bayda province, along with one other person.

   Yemeni officials reported his death last month, saying the strike was likely by a U.S. drone. They said two were killed with al-Dahab.

   Al-Dahab was believed to be al-Qaida's leader in the southern province of Bayda, one of its former strongholds. The statement praised him for having waged "jihad" for years, saying he had lost a hand in a previous battle.

   The United States conducts regular drone strikes in Yemen but rarely confirms individual attacks.

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