At least nine Al-Qaeda operatives were killed including most dangerous leaders from AQAP and its offshoot Ansar Al-Sharia in a Yemeni raid early on Thursday.
The state-run September 26 website quoted a military source in Abyan province as saying the militants were targeted in the Jabalain area.
"They were surrounded and raided by the 119 infantry brigade and the pro-government popular committees as Al-Qaeda continued to receive devastating blows," the source said.
"Nadir Haider Nasser Al-Shadadi, one of the most wanted leaders of Al-Qaeda, was among those killed," the source continued.
This month, Yemen sentenced several terrorist suspects to death and to years in prison after convicting them of joining Al-Qaeda and forming armed groups that attacked military and security chiefs, offices and public properties.
Earlier this year, the Yemeni army launched a US-backed offensive and drove Al-Qaeda militants out of their strongholds in Abyan and Shabwa provinces. Hundreds of militants including senior leaders were killed, injured and arrested.
The authorities are now continuing a massive hunt for the remaining operatives, with many key of them and cells arrested in the past few months.