Yemen says it captures senior al Qaeda leader

ADEN (Reuters) - Yemeni troops captured a senior leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) during an early morning raid on Tuesday in the southeastern Hadramawt region, a local security official said.

Special forces stormed the house in a remote village where Abu Ali al-Sayari, a Saudi national of Yemeni origins, was hiding, the official said. They detained three others and killed two more.

Al Qaeda militants took advantage of Yemen’s civil war which began in 2015, seizing parts of the country’s south before government soldiers and troops from a Saudi-led Arab coalition drove them out of major population centers.

The militants now control much less territory, but continue to launch occasional attacks on state officials and institutions.

AQAP, which the United States regards as one of the deadliest branches of the network founded by Osama bin Laden, has in the past plotted to down U.S. airliners and claimed responsibility for the 2015 attacks on the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.

Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf, editing by Ed Osmond