— File photo.
— File photo.

ADEN: 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 2012, 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 in 2012 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.

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Comments (2) Closed

syed baqar ahsan
Jul 28, 2013 11:57am

Shame to all those westerns africans asians,muslims christian jews hindus communist etc etc who have recognised Americans given name of Al Qaeda,under this name USA will continue destroying any nation.Name Al Qaeda is CIA brain child which never attack USA ever,its all threats and massages are well drafted and filmed for particular occassion and all are broadcasted from USA/CIA channel Al JAZEERA and and above all their Osama was made to watch only this channel.To all well read and think tanks please have mercy on humamity and stop this monster who is just killing by calling anybody Al Qaeda. WILL SOMEBODY READ THIS

Jul 28, 2013 04:29pm

DrOnes are killers of terrorists with minimal collateral damage. Three Cheers to drones.