According to the reporters, a top Islamist militant commander, who run al Qaeda`s combat operations and had a $5 million US bounty on his head, had lost his life in a suspected US drone strike overnight, said the residents.
The militants who belonged to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had been preparing to receive the body of Jalal Baleedi, who is also known as Hamza al Marqashi, as he had been put to death along with two of his guards near the town of Azzan, the source, spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not allowed to give any information to the media, on Thursday.
Azzan had been taken under control by the al Qaeda fighters on Monday, as it had become the group`s stronghold in Shabwa.
Baleedi was originally from Yemen`s mountainous Abyan province, and was identified by the Yemen Times as being the field commander of AQAP in 2004 in the southern governorates if Abyan, Shabwa, Lahj, Hadramout, and al Beidha.
According to the recent reports, it suggested that Baleedi pledged allegiance to and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant group with many others AQAP fighters, becoming the leader of ISIL in Yemen.