A U.S. airstrike has killed al-Qaida’s second-most-powerful figure, the head of its Yemeni branch, dealing the terror network its biggest blow since the killing of Osama bin Laden at a time when it is vying with the Islamic State group for the mantle of global jihad.

Nasir al-Wahishi was the latest in a series of senior figures from al-Qaida’s powerful Yemeni branch eliminated by U.S. drone attacks over the past five months, including its top ideologue and a senior military commander. The U.S. has intensified its campaign, trying to push back the group as it has captured new territory in Yemen by taking advantage of the southern Arabian nation’s chronic chaos.

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