Suspected US drone airstrike kills 3 al-Qaida members in Yemen

Suspected US drone airstrike kills 3 al-Qaida members in YemenTribal and security officials said on condition of anonymity on Sunday a suspected US airstrike had killed three al-Qaida operatives on Yemen’s southern coast.

This is reported by The Guardian.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, said the operatives killed in Shabwa province on Sunday were driving a car when an unmanned aircraft targeted their vehicle. Their bodies were not immediately identified.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap), long seen by Washington as among the most dangerous branches of the global terror network, has exploited the chaos of the Yemen civil war, seizing territory in the south and east.

US drone strikes against Aqap targets have been frequent. In January, a botched raid by Navy Seals resulted in the death of one American commando and 25 civilians, including a young girl who was an American citizen.

Elsewhere in southern Yemen on Sunday, a local photographer working with Agence France-Presse was seriously wounded in a missile strike, his colleagues said.

Saleh al-Obeidi was in an armoured car with a pro-government officer when their vehicle was struck by a heat-guided missile near the government-held Red Sea town of Mokha, another journalist said.

The two men were evacuated by helicopter for medical treatment, he added. Another journalist said Obeidi suffered severe burns to his face and hands. It was not immediately possible to identify the source of the missile.

Pro-government forces are fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels and their allies, renegade troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A Saudi-led coalition including the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen in March 2015, to help the government retake the capital, Sana’a, and swaths of the country’s north and west.

Fighting has raged around Mokha in recent weeks as pro-government forces push a major offensive to drive rebels from the Red Sea coast.

The United Nations says the fighting has killed more than 7,700 people over the past two years. According to the International Federation of Journalists, at least eight journalists were killed in Yemen in 2016.
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