Jalal Belaidi, alias Abu Hamza, a top commander of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed along with two guards in the Maraqesha area of Abyan province, the relative said.

The United States is the only country known to operate armed drones over Yemen, home to AQAP, considered by Washington as the jihadist group's most dangerous affiliate.

A tribal source also confirmed the death of Belaidi following contact with AQAP militants in the area.

Belaidi, who was born in Abyan, served in the past as the leader of Al-Qaeda in Zinjibar, but he is said to have climbed the ranks of the jihadist group to became a top military commander.

Late yesterday, a drone strike killed six suspected members of AQAP in nearby Shabwa province, a security official said.

Latest News from World News Desk