Seven suspected Al-Qaeda members have been killed in drone strikes in central Yemen. The members were probably carried out by US forces, security sources told on Sunday.
A security official, asking not to be identified, said three “armed fighters of Al-Qaeda” died when their vehicle was struck on Saturday in the Sawmaa region of Al-Bayda province.
Another drone strike on Saturday in the same region killed three suspected jihadists who were riding a motorcycle, and on Friday a drone strike killed a local military instructor for Al-Qaeda in the same province, another security source said.
The United States, which considers the extremist group’s Yemen-based franchise, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to be its most dangerous, is the only force operating drones over Yemen.
But it only sporadically reports on a long-running bombing campaign against AQAP.
Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State jihadist group have exploited a power vacuum created by the two-year-old conflict in Yemen between the government and Shiite Huthi rebels, especially in the country’s south and southeast.