SANAA, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni interior ministry said Tuesday that a prominent al-Qaida leader linked to an attack on a French oil tanker in 2002 was killed two days ago in an air raid in the central province of Marib.
"The No. 4 leader of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula ( AQAP) Mukbil Saeed Alumda, also known as Abu Gareb Al-Taizi, was killed on Sunday in an airstrike in the central province of Marib, " the interior ministry said in a statement on its website.
An interior ministry official told Xinhua that Alumda was linked to an attack on a French oil tanker in 2002 in the Gulf of Aden. He was among 26 al-Qaida militants who escaped the highly- guarded intelligence prison in Sanaa in 2006.
The Yemeni defense ministry said Sunday that the air forces raided a suspected al-Qaida convoy in Marib, killing at least three militants.
"The raid targeted three vehicles carrying militants of the terrorist al-Qaida network in the desert area of Sanda in Marib on Sunday afternoon, killing at least three militants and destroying two of the vehicles," the ministry said in a statement on its website.
Yemen's air forces, with support of U.S. drones, have recently intensified raids against targets of al-Qaida insurgents in Yemen' s southern and eastern regions, where the al-Qaida group took over control of some towns since May 2011, after the outbreak of mass anti-government protests.
Marib, some 150 km east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, is home to most of the country's oil and gas stockpiles.
On Oct. 6, 2002, French oil tanker Limburg was hit by an explosives-laden boat while sailing in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel caught fire then and tens of thousands of barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Aden. The explosion also caused one crew member on the oil tanker killed and 12 others injured.