Yemen’s security agencies have no substantial evidence that al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a recent airstrike in the eastern province of Mareb, an official security source said Thursday.
‘The latest information available to the security agencies is that al-Awlaki was driving in a motorcade of three cars when a US drone targeted them (on September 30),’ the source told the Yemeni website Mareb Press on condition of anonymity.
He added that one car had been hit, while the other two escaped.
‘There is no irrefutable information that al-Awlaki was inside the hit car,’ he said.
According to the source, it was hard to identify the remains left after the raid.
‘There was no actual body. All that was left after the incident were mere remains mixed with wrecked pieces of the targeted car,’ he said. ‘These remains were collected and buried by residents in the area.’
On September 30, the Yemeni Defence Ministry said al-Awlaki, a US-born radical Islamist cleric seen as a spiritual leader of al-Qaeda, had been killed in an airstrike.
US President Barack Obama said the attack was a ‘major blow’ to the terrorist network’s most active operational affiliate.