Three Al-Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen drone strike: officials

YEMEN, Marib (AFP): Three alleged Al-Qaeda militants were killed in a suspected US drone strike in northeastern Yemen on Monday, local government officials said.

The attack was carried out on a car in Marib province, the scene of heavy fighting in 2021 in Yemen’s long-running civil war, the officials said.

“Three Al-Qaeda members were killed in a strike by a drone that is believed to be American,” a government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The three were in a car in Wadi Obeida when they were targeted by the suspected US strike that killed them immediately.”

A second Marib government official confirmed the strike on Al-Qaeda militants and the death toll. There was no immediate comment from Washington.

The United States considers Al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – among the most dangerous branches of the global jihadist network.

AQAP, and other militants loyal to Daesh, have thrived in the chaos of Yemen’s civil war.

AQAP has carried out operations against both the Houthis and government forces as well as sporadic attacks abroad.

Its leaders have been targeted by a US drone war for more than two decades, although the number of strikes has dropped off in recent years.

The conflict in Yemen has since killed tens of thousands of people and triggered what the United Nations terms the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with millions of people displaced.