US official: al-Awlaki believed dead in US attack

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. counterterrorism official says American forces targeted al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki's convoy with a drone and jet attack and believe he's been killed.

The U.S.-born cleric known for fiery anti-American rhetoric has been suspected of ties to the Fort Hood attack and the attempted Christmas Day airliner bombing in 2009.

The counterterrorism official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The government of Yemen reported that al-Awlaki was targeted and killed Friday. He would be the most prominent al-Qaida figure to be killed since Osama bin Laden.

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AP intelligence writer Kimberly Dozier contributed to this report.