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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Thursday it carried out an air strike in Yemen that killed Abu Khattab al Awlaqi, the emir for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's Shabwa province, along with two other militants.

"Al Awlaqi was a senior leader responsible for planning and conducting terrorist attacks against civilians," the U.S. military's Central Command said in a statement.

"He had significant influence throughout AQAP's terrorist stronghold, had ties and access to the group's other senior leaders, and was implicated in planning and leading efforts to exacerbate instability in southern Yemen."

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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