Yemeni security forces have killed the head of an al Qa'eda cell in the eastern province of Shabwa, the governor of the province said today. "Abdullah Mehdar was killed last night by security forces which had besieged the house he hid in," the Governor Ali Hassan al Ahmadi told reporters. Mehdar was the leader of an al Qa'eda cell in al Houta region, in the province of Shabwa, 600 kilometres east of Sana'a.
Security forces were hunting for the remaining members of the cell, Mr Ahmadi said. The al Qa'eda branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for the botched Christmas Day attack on a US airliner, with the United States accusing the group of training the alleged perpetrator, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. * AFP