SANAA (Reuters) - Yemeni forces have killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Muslim preacher linked to al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing, the Defense Ministry said on Friday.

"The terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed along with some of his companions," it said in a statement sent by text message to journalists.

Awlaki had been implicated in a botched attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound plane in 2009.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari)