WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior U.S. officials are confirming that the No. 2 al-Qaida leader in Yemen has been killed, dealing a major blow to the terror group.
The officials said Saeed al-Shihri was killed, but could not confirm any U.S. involvement in the airstrike Monday that Yemeni leaders say killed the terrorist and six others.
Yemeni officials said the missile that killed al-Shihri, who was a Saudi national, was believed to have been fired by a U.S.-operated, unmanned drone aircraft. The U.S. doesn't usually comment on such attacks although it has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.
Two U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information to the news media.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)