The Al-Qaeda leader Shabwani was killed on Tuesday as heavy fighting broke out between the army and suspected al Qaeda militants in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province.
An official of a local news agency confirmed that “two prominent members of the al Qaeda leadership were killed … in Abyan province.” The names of these two leaders were given as Ayad al-Shabwani and Awad Mohammed Saleh al-Shabwani.
Militants with suspected links with al Qaeda took over much of Zinjibar in late May. They have been battling the security forces ever since. The fighting has displaced thousands of locals.
Yemen is the ancestral homeland of veteran al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.