Drone Strike Kills 5 Qaida Suspects In Yemen

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Sana’a: Five suspected members of Yemen’s Al-Qaida branch were killed Sunday in what local authorities said was a US drone strike east of the capital Sanaa.

The early morning strike targeted a car in central Marib province that had been transporting arms from Yakla in Baida province, a military official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The official said the car belonged to a known local leader of Yemen’s Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which the United States views as the radical group’s most dangerous branch.

Sunday’s strike comes 24 hours after a similar raid killed three suspected AQAP operatives in southern Shabwa province, which has been a central target of the US military.

Yakla was the target of the controversial January 29 air raid ordered by US President Donald Trump, his first since taking office.

Also Read: US Takes War On Terror To Taliban HQ In Pak

That raid, during which US special operations forces entered an AQAP compound in Yakla, killed a Navy SEAL and several Yemeni civilians, including a child with US citizenship.

The Pentagon has confirmed more than 70 strikes against jihadist targets in Yemen since February 28.

Al-Qaida has taken advantage of the chaos caused by more than two years of civil war in Yemen to expand its presence in the war-torn country.

The conflict pits Huthi Shiite rebels, backed by Iran, against government forces allied with a Gulf coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

The United Nations estimates more than 7,700 people have been killed since the coalition intervened in the war. Millions also face famine this year.

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