US-born radical Islamic cleric and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed, the Yemen Defence Ministry has said.

The Ministry said that Awlaki was killed with several other suspected Al-Qaeda operatives, but did not elaborate on the circumstances of his death.


It is reported that the 40-year-old was killed in a CIA air strike which hit two vehicles in Marib province today, Fox News reports.

Awlaki was linked to the 2009 Christmas Day "underwear bomber" plot - a narrowly foiled bid to blow up a passenger jet approaching Detroit.

He was also linked to the failed Times Square bomb attempt in May last year.

According to US officials, Awlaki was a senior talent recruiter and motivator, who had also become "operational" as a planner and trainer "for Al-Qaeda and all of its franchises".

Awlaki's targeted killing was approved by US President Barack Obama, with the consent of the US National Security Council by April 2010, making him the first US citizen ever placed on the CIA target list.

Officials had said that it was appropriate, as he poses an imminent danger to national security.