8 Al Qaeda operatives killed in drone strike in Yemen, including key leader

A key leader of the terror group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Yemen on Sunday, the Pentagon said.

Abu Ahmed Al Awlaqi had led operations for the group in the Shabwa province. He also planned external attacks and coordinated the group’s movement of weapons and explosives, authorities said.

The death of the leader, according to Navy Captain Jeff Davis, was the result of a monthslong campaign designed to kill leaders of the group and other Yemeni operatives.

Seven other members of the group were also killed in Sunday's strike, Davis said.

The U.S. has completed more than 80 precision strikes against AQAP militants since February 28. That includes strikes against equipment, fighting positions and infrastructure.

U.S. forces are completing the operations in the country against AQAP in order to simultaneously determine how the group plans external terror attacks and to degrade the ability of the group to complete those operations.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.