Third deadly drone strike in a week hits Yemen Qaeda

September 24, 2016 4:13 pm
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The United States is the only government to operate drones over Yemen but only sporadically releases statements on its long-running bombing campaign against the country’s powerful Al-Qaeda branch © US AIR FORCE/AFP/File

, Aden, Yemen, Sep 24 – An apparent US drone strike has killed five suspected Al-Qaeda members in Yemen in the third such attack this week, a security official said on Saturday.

Washington is the only government to operate drones over Yemen but only sporadically releases statements on its long-running bombing campaign against the country’s powerful Al-Qaeda branch.

The Friday evening strike in Marib province, east of the capital, killed local commander Abu Khaled al-Sanaani and four guards, the official said.

On Thursday, a drone strike in neighbouring Al-Bayda province killed three suspected Al-Qaeda members, one of them a commander.

A Tuesday strike in Marib province, killed two suspected Al-Qaeda members and caused a large explosion when munitions they were transporting blew up.

Yemeni pro-government forces, loyal to fugitive President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, gather at the military base of Nehm, in the Sanaa province east of the Yemeni capital, the frontline with the Marib region on April 7, 2016 © AFP/File / Nabil Hassan

Marib is largely in the hands of loyalists of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and his allies in a Saudi-led coalition.

But Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of fighting with the Shiite rebels who control the capital to consolidate its longstanding presence in the province.

Washington considers Al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based franchise to be its most dangerous and has kept up its drone war throughout the conflict.

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