Sana’a: Four alleged members of the Al Qaida extremist network were killed in Yemen on Sunday in a strike presumed to have been carried out by a US drone against their vehicle in Maarib province east of Sana’a, a tribal source told AFP.
“A drone fired a missile at a car which had four Al Qaida militants in it, destroying the vehicle and killing the occupants,” the source added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The drone strike, the second in four days, took place in the early evening in the Hami and Al Damashqa area 17 kilometres east of Maarib city, the same source said.
On Thursday, rockets fired from a drone near the southern city of Jaar in Abyan province killed at least seven suspected members of the terror network, including a local leader, an official in the restive region said.
The official said “several bodies” had been identified after that drone strike, including that of Nader Al Shadadi, Al Qaida’s leader in Jaar.
On October 4, a drone strike blasted two cars carrying suspected Al Qaida gunmen in the southern province of Shabwa, killing five of them, a tribal chief and witnesses said.
US drones that are deployed in the region have backed Yemeni forces in combating militants of the Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who remain active in the impoverished nation.
Al Qaida took advantage of the weakness of Yemen’s central government during an uprising last year against now ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seizing large swathes of territory across the south.
But after a month-long offensive in May launched by Yemeni troops, most militants fled to the more lawless desert regions of the east.