Yemeni security forces killed a senior al-Qaida operative and three other militants in a clash Wednesday to clamp down on a cell suspected in a terrorism attack against Spanish tourists, authorities said.
A Yemeni soldier was also killed in the raid, which took place in the north Yemen area of
Raghwan near an ancient temple where eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis died in a
suicide bombing in July, authorities said.
The governor for the northern Marib region, Aref al-Zouka, said the killed militants included Qassem al-Rainy, a Yemeni national considered to be a top al-Qaida operative in the country. He said al-Rainy was wanted in neighboring Saudi Arabia and had previously escaped from a Yemen prison. Two of the other slain militants were also Yemeni, he said, and the fourth was an 18-year-old whose nationality was unknown.