A son of the U.S.-born Al Qaeda cleric Anwar Al Awlaki was among seven suspected jihadist militants killed in a trio of apparent U.S. air strikes in Yemen, a member of his tribe said Saturday.
"Abderrahman Anwar Al Awlaki was killed in the raid," the tribal source said, adding that he received confirmation from the militant-controlled Yemeni hospital where the dead and wounded from Friday evening's strikes were taken.
Apart from Abderrahman, 21, the strikes also killed a cousin of Awlaki and three other members of the Awlaki tribe, the source said.
He said that the other three included Sarhan Al Qussa'a, brother of Fahd Al Qussa'a, a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula that he said was on a U.S. wanted list.
Anwar Al Awlaki himself was killed in a U.S. drone strike on Sept. 30, which President Barack Obama hailed as a "major blow" to Al Qaeda worldwide.
U.S. intelligence officials believe Awlaki was linked to a U.S. army major charged with shooting dead 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, and to a Nigerian student accused of trying to blow up a U.S. airliner on Dec. 25, 2009.
He was also believed to be the leader of external operations of AQAP.
Also killed in the strikes was the media chief of the jihadist network, a local official said Saturday.
"Three strikes, apparently American, which were launched against positions held by Al Qaeda militants in Azzan, one of the group's bastions, killed seven of them, including the Egyptian, Ibrahim Al Banna'a," the local official said.
The Yemeni defense ministry confirmed the deaths, but insisted that Friday evening's strikes in Shabwa province -- a militant stronghold east of the main southern city of Aden -- were carried out by its own forces.
One of the strikes hit a mosque near the primary target of the strike, a local official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A number of suspected militants were also wounded and were taken to the Azzan hospital, which is under the control of the militants, he added.
The Yemeni defense ministry confirmed that Banna'a was among the seven suspected Al Qaeda militants killed, adding that he was wanted "intentionally" for "planning attacks both inside and outside Yemen."
Banna'a was "in charge of the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula" and was one of the group's "most dangerous operatives," the ministry added.
Yemen routinely denies that the United States carries out offensive operations on its territory, insisting that it plays a purely logistic and intelligence role in support of Yemen's own counter terror operations.