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Strikes on Al Qaeda base kills 60 suspected militants

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The president of Yemen says this week’s military campaign against Al Qaeda has killed more than 60 suspected militants, including several of the group’s leaders.

His remarks were aired on state TV as security officials said authorities were examining DNA samples to determine the identities of those killed.

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Yemen’s military hit a major Al Qaeda base in southern Yemen on Sunday and Monday, reportedly backed by US drone strikes.

The assault appeared to be a significant escalation in the campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The group is suspected in a series of unsuccessful bomb plots targeting Americans, including an attempt to bring down a US-bound airliner with explosives hidden in the bomber’s underwear.

The United States has been hitting Al Qaeda positions in Yemen with drone strikes for the past two years, trying to cripple the group after it was driven out of several southern cities it took over in 2011.

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