• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 8:51pm
NewsWorld
YEMEN

'US drone kills' six Qaeda suspects in Yemen

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 July, 2013, 2:04pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 July, 2013, 2:04pm

An apparent US drone strike killed six suspected Al-Qaeda militants overnight, a Yemeni military source told AFP on Sunday.

The six suspects were travelling in a two-vehicle convoy in Mahfad in the southern province of Abyan, much of which was held by the jihadists before an army counter-offensive last year, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“A night drone strike targeted two cars of Al-Qaeda militants in Wadi Dhiqa in Mahfad, killing the six people inside them,” the official said.

In a major offensive in summer last year, the Yemeni army drove Al-Qaeda militants out of most towns in Abyan, including Zinjibar and Jaar which they had held for a year.

But the jihadists retain a presence in the nearby mountains of Mahfad.

Although weakened, Al-Qaeda militants still carry out hit-and-run attacks against members of the security forces.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took advantage of the weakness of Yemen’s central government during an uprising in 2011 against now-ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh to seize large swathes of territory across the south.

The United States has stepped up its support for Yemen’s battle against AQAP, which it regards as the most active and deadliest branch of the worldwide Al-Qaeda network.

US drones strikes in Yemen nearly tripled last year compared to 2011, from 18 to 53, according to the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.

Several AQAP leaders have been killed by US drones, most recently the network’s deputy leader Saeed al-Shehri whose death was confirmed by the jihadists on July 17.

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or