US drone strike ‘kills three Al-Qaeda members’ in Yemen
SANAA - A drone strike, likely carried out by US forces, has killed three suspected Al-Qaeda members in southern Yemen, local security sources said on Wednesday.
The strike on Tuesday night targeted a vehicle in Shabwa province and incinerated the bodies of the three suspected jihadists, one of the sources said.
Washington is the only government to operate drones over Yemen, but the United States only sporadically releases statements on its long-running bombing campaign against the country's powerful Al-Qaeda branch.
The United States considers Al-Qaeda's Yemen-based franchise, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to be its most dangerous.
AQAP and the Islamic State group have exploited a power vacuum created by the conflict between the government and Shiite Huthi rebels to expand their presence in Yemen, especially in the south and southeast.
Government forces are battling to retake control of the country but have failed to dislodge the Huthis from key areas, despite backing from a Saudi-led coalition carrying out regular air strikes.
In the latest fighting, a Yemeni security source said Wednesday that four rebels were killed and six wounded when their vehicle was ambushed by government forces in the southern Dhaleh province.
More than 7,000 people have died and tens of thousands been wounded during the conflict, according to UN figures.