Washington, Oct. 24 (ANI): The second most senior figure in the terrorist group of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Abu Sufyan Said al-Shihri, who had apparently been killed "in an operation", has allegedly resurfaced in Yemen.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry had announced last month that al-Shihri had been killed during an operation in the Hadramawt Valley, a stronghold of AQAP in the south of the country.
In an audio message, called "Events and Lessons" released by AQAP's media wing, Al-Malahem, a speaker purported to be al-Shihri declared that the death was a 'rumour', CNN reports.
"What has been reported in various media outlets regarding my death in the Arabian Peninsula is a rumor to cover the killing of innocent unarmed Muslims in Yemen," the speaker said.
According to the report, the alleged 'Al-Shihri' also accused the Yemeni government of being an American puppet.
"They pushed another lie so they can muddy the events, and this is when they reported my killing, as if America's killing of the mujahedeen is a victory for Islam and Muslims, but they are wrong," the speaker said.
Despite the emergence of the audio clip, Yemen's Defense Ministry said that it stands by its previous assessment that al-Shihri was killed in an air-strike last month, the report said.
Although, western media, based on statements by officials in Yemen and reports from the state news agency, reported al-Shihri's death last month, but a DNA confirmation of the Al Qaeda figure that he was among several militants killed in a drone strike did not follow, the report added. (ANI)