U.S. servicemember killed in raid on Al Qaeda in Yemen

One U.S. service member was killed and three were wounded during an operation targeting al Qaeda militants in Yemen, according to statement from the Pentagon.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our elite service members," 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," he added.

In addition to the loss of life and injuries, a U.S. aircraft assisting the operation experienced what the Pentagon referred to as a "hard landing" close to where the operation was being conducted.

A fourth service member was injured in the hard landing, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

See images of tragedy in Yemen following an airstrike:

Tragedy in Yemen following airstrike
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Tragedy in Yemen following airstrike
Reuters, Khaled Abdullah
Reuters, Khaled Abdullah
Reuters, Khaled Abdullah
Reuters, Khaled Abdullah
Reuters, Khaled Abdullah
Reuters, Khaled Abdullah
Reuters, Khaled Abdullah
Reuters, Khaled Abdullah

The aircraft was unable to fly after the landing, and was destroyed in place by U.S. forces.

Yemeni security and tribal officials told the Associated Press the assault, in central Bayda province, killed three senior al Qaeda leaders.

They say the Sunday attack killed Abdul-Raouf al-Dhahab, Sultan al-Dhahab, and Seif al-Nims. The al-Dhahab family is considered an ally of al Qaeda.

In addition, the officials said some two dozen men had been killed or wounded in the raid, and that U.S. forces captured and departed with at least two men.

The Pentagon estimated that 14 militants were killed in the operation.

The death is the first of a U.S. service member since President Donald Trump took office.

The name of the service member who was killed in action is being withheld, pending notification of next of kin.

This is a developing story. More to follow.

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