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US soldier killed in raid on al-Qaida in Yemen

Posted: 8:32 AM, Jan 29, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-29 13:18:52-05

SANAA, Yemen — The U.S. military says a service member has been killed and three others wounded in raid in Yemen targeting a local al-Qaida affiliate.

U.S. Central Command said in a statement Sunday that another service member was injured in a “hard landing” in a nearby location.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our elite servicemembers,” said Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel. “The sacrifices are very profound in our fight against terrorists who threaten innocent peoples across the globe.”

It says the aircraft was unable to fly afterward and “was then intentionally destroyed in place.”

It says 14 fighters from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula were killed in the assault and that U.S. service members captured “information that will likely provide insight into the planning of future terror plots.”

Yemeni security and tribal officials say the assault in central Bayda province killed three senior al-Qaida leaders.

The raid was the first counterterrorism operation carried out by the Trump administration.

The White House released a statement Sunday afternoon.

“In a successful raid against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) headquarters, brave U.S. forces were instrumental in killing an estimated 14 AQAP members and capturing important intelligence that will assist the U.S. in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world,” the statement reads.

“Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism. The sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces, and the families they leave behind, are the backbone of the liberty we hold so dear as Americans, united in our pursuit of a safer nation and a freer world. My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member. I also pray for a quick and complete recovery for the brave service members who sustained injuries.”