JUBA, Yemen — The Navy SEAL who led an assault on suspected Al Qaeda leader Ahmed al-Jarba at his home in Yemen’s central city of Taiz on Tuesday killed the militant in an ambush, U.S. officials said.
The SEALs had taken the top-ranking al-Qaeda operative hostage, a senior U.N. official said.
The raid, which also killed al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki, was one of a series of U.s. military operations to flush out the militant, who is believed to be a senior commander in Yemen.
Al-Jarbo had been living in a house used by the al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, and had ties to a network of militants in Yemen, U:U.S., the State Department said.
The U.K.-based Defense Intelligence Agency, which tracks the al Qaeda threat in the Middle East, said in a statement Tuesday that the SEALs killed al -Jarba and wounded another al-Miqdad, who had been hiding in the home.
U.N., the U.KS. and U.A.E. officials spoke to the militants by phone as they arrived in Taiz.
U.B.E., Yemen’s military, confirmed the SEAL’s death.
Jarba was also believed to have a network in Yemen that had ties with al-Shabaab, an offshoot of Al Qaeda that was pushed out of its strongholds in Somalia by the U-N.-backed African Union.
Abu Sayyaf, a militant group that al-Nusra Front, the al Qaida affiliate in Syria, claimed responsibility for the attack, also said it had targeted al-Sarouq.