Obama praises killing of al-Awlaki

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the killing of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen "is a major blow to al-Qaida's most active operational affiliate."

Obama also says it "marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al'Qaida."

Al-Awlaki, a prominent figure in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula said to have direct involvement in plots against the U.S., was killed early Friday in a strike on his convoy carried out by a joint operation of the CIA and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, according to counterterrorism officials.

Officials also said that a second American, Samir Khan, who edited an online magazine that spread the word on ways to carry out attacks inside the United States, also was killed in the strike.

Obama spoke Friday at a retirement ceremony at Fort Myer, Va. for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.