5 al-Qaeda operatives killed by US drone in Yemen

Five operatives of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch were killed when a US drone strike targeted their vehicle in Yemen’s central province of al-Bayda on Tuesday, a military official told Xinhua.

The military source confirmed that missiles fired from the unmanned US aircraft destroyed a vehicle carrying al-Qaeda operatives in the mountains of Radaa area in central al-Bayda province.

The military source said that “the slain al-Qaeda men were apparently travelling from Marib province and heading to meet their comrades in the al-Bayda province”.

On Tuesday, the United States announced that its military killed 13 al-Qaeda militants in three separate strikes in Yemen in recent weeks, but it did not specify how the strikes were conducted or reveal the identities of the militants targeted.

Yemen has recently seen a growing number of al-Qaeda activities due to the prolonged security vacuum resulting from the 19-month civil war between the exiled government and Houthi rebels who seized much of the country’s north, including capital Sanaa since 2014.

The military conflict has left more than 6,400 dead, according to the UN, displaced thousands and left the country’s civilians facing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

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