Yemen’s Interior Ministry says police have arrested an al-Qaeda leader who is one of the country’s most wanted fugitives.

The Ministry, in a statement late on Friday, said Suleiman Hassan Mohammed Murshed Awad was arrested in Zinjibar, the capital of southern Abyan province, once an al-Qaeda hotbed. It did not say when he was arrested.

Mr Awad, also known as Abu Osama al-Abi, was “one of the most dangerous criminal elements in al-Qaeda who is involved in killing security men and joining others in terrorist attacks on foreign targets in Sanaa.”

Washington, which considers Yemen’s al-Qaeda branch the group’s most dangerous offshoot, helped Yemeni troops with airpower and advisers last summer. The offensive drove al-Qaeda militants out of southern cities, including Zinjibar.

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