Agence France Presse
Thursday 6 September 2012
Last Update 6 September 2012 4:42 am
ADEN: A strike by an unmanned drone killed five suspected members of Al-Qaeda in eastern Yemen yesterday, a security official said.
“Five Al-Qaeda members were killed in the raid” that targeted a house in the village of Al-Ain in Hadramawt province, the official said. He said two middle-ranking members of the local branch of Al-Qaeda were among the dead.
A tribal chief confirmed the raid to AFP, saying it targeted the house of Murad bin Salam, an Al-Qaeda leader in Hadramawt, adding that Salam was among five found dead after the attack.
“Two rockets hit the house... where there were several members of Al-Qaeda,” he said. “We found five bodies and the search continues as the house was flattened.”
The United States is the only country that has drones in the region and in recent months has been carrying out strikes on Al-Qaeda targets in the south and east of the country and in the Arabian peninsula.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has taken advantage of the weakness of the central government during a year of protests against ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh to expand its presence in the impoverished country.
Al-Qaeda loyalists have carried out a spate of deadly attacks against Yemeni security forces and their militia allies since Saleh’s successor President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi came to power, pledging to crush the militants.
In an all-out offensive launched in May, the army retook a string of towns in Abyan province in the south.
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