CAIRO // An audio recording purported to be of Al Qaeda's No 2 in Yemen has surfaced on the internet with the militant figure denying government reports that he was killed in a US drone strike last month.
In the message, a man claiming to be Saudi-born Saeed Al Shihri says reports of his death were a "rumour to cover up the killing of innocent Muslim civilians".
The authenticity of the audio could not be independently confirmed. It was produced by Al Qaeda's media arm in Yemen, Al Malahem, and posted on militant websites late last night.
Yemeni officials, speaking anonymously in line with regulations, have said Mr Al Shihri and six others travelling with him died in a September strike on their vehicle. The missile was believed to have been fired by a US-operated, unmanned drone aircraft.