A student asks soldiers to help him down a street as authorities stepped up security measures a day after a drone attack killed 10 Al Qaida suspected militants and a number of civilians, in Sana’a on Sunday. Image Credit: EPA

Sana’a: Five Al Qaida militants were killed on Sunday when a suspected US drone targeted their military camp in a remote mountainous area in southern Yemen, a local tribal source told Gulf News.

The attack is the second of its kind that hit militants in 24 hours. On Saturday, a drone strikes killed 10 Al Qaida militants and four civilians in Al Souma area, Al Baydha province. Yemen ministry of defence confirmed the attack but did not give credit to the US drones.

A statement carried by the ministry’s official website said that a “successful” air strike was launched on Sunday morning on military training camps run by Al Qaida in a mountainous area between the southern provinces of Shabwa and Abyan.

The statement said that the militants were plotting attacks on military and civilian facilities. Many non-Yemenis militants were killed in the air strike.

Commenting on the first air strike on Saturday, the Supreme Security Committee admitted that the air strike killed three civilians and injured five who “suddenly appeared” in the vicinity of the targeted car.

The committee said that the air strike targeted a pickup carrying 11 militants. Only one of the alleged militants survived. The committee said that the targeted militants were “dangerous and leading elements” involved in promoting and disseminating Al Qaida’s ideology.

The official statement did not touch upon the names of targeted militants, but Aden Al Ghad website said Saturday’s drone killed Saif Mohammad Saif, Abdul Rahman Al Sakhera, Ali Saleh Al Habani, Adham Ali Mohsen and many others.

Also, a local journalist from Al Baydha told Gulf News that Al Qaida affiliates approached on Saturday the scene of the strike four hours after the attack and collected the torn bodies and put them in plastic bags.

“They buried them in one grave not far from the air strike’s scene,” the journalist said. The source added that the militants were coming from the province of Mareb and slept for some time in Al Souma. “The police located them when they left the house heading to Al Baydha town.”

Salem Nasser Al Khoushim, a civilian who happened to be in another car near Al Qaida’s pickup told Gulf News that the first missile targeted the militants’ car and the second aimed at his car, adding that when the drone missile hit the militant’s pickup, some shrapnel reached their car and caused flat tyres.

“Since we could not drive the car, we had to abandon it and looking for a shelter after hearing the explosions in the targeted pickup. We frantically feared that [militants’] car might explode, and explosions continued for another 30 minutes,”

Al Khoushim said the second missile landed near his car fifteen minutes after the first strike, killing three of his colleagues and critically injured four.

“When the second missile hit near our car, we took shelter in a drain pipe for thirty minutes until we got help from friends.”

Al Khoushim said that the drone instantly killed Yasser Ali Masoud, Sanad Hussain Al Khoushim and Ahmad Saleh Al Khoushim. Tribesman Abdullah Nasser Al Khoushim suffered critical injuries and was pronounced dead in a hospital in Al Baydha town.

Al Khoushim said Abdul Rahman Hussain Al Khoushim, Nasser Mohammad Al Khoushim, Bassam Al Hafidha and Bassam Al Taizi are being treated from critical injuries.

On Thursday, the ministry of defence announced that one Al Qaida escapee who fled Sana’a Central Prison on February took part in an attack on a military base in the port of city of Aden. The ministry said that Yahya Yousuf Mohammad, 26, from Lahj province, was among many Al Qaida militants who were killed in the foiled attack on early April.

Also, in attempt to encourage people to report Al Qaida attacks, Yemen police announced a reward worth $25,000 (Dh92,000) for any person alerting security services about the whereabouts of Al Qaida militants or any possible attack.