Two Yemeni members of al Qaeda were killed in their car by what appeared to be a US drone in the Wadi Rafad valley in Shabwa province in southern Yemen on Sunday, residents there and a spokesman for the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia group said.
One of the dead men was believed to be Fahd al-Qasaa, who was convicted for a role in the 2000 bombing of USS Cole in the port of Aden – killing 17 US sailors – and who escaped from prison in 2005, and the other was Fahed Salem al-Akdam, residents said.
The plane that fired the missile had been sighted in the sky, they said.
No one else was killed in the attack and no one else was travelling in the vehicle, the residents said.
A local government official in Shabwa confirmed the attack, and, separately, a statement from al Qaeda said, “Al Qaeda affirms the martyrdom of the Fahd al-Qasaa in an American attack this afternoon in Rafad.