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'US drone strike' kills 5 militants in Yemen
A number of militants have been killed in recent drone attacks carried out by the United States and the government in Yemen. — Photo by AFP

SANAA: An air strike on an Al-Qaeda position near the southern Yemeni town of Loder killed six militants on Wednesday, the defence ministry said.

“Six Al-Qaeda terrorists were killed today” in an air raid that targeted one of their positions southeast of Loder, which is the target of an Al-Qaeda takeover bid, the ministry's news website reported, quoting an unnamed local source.

A second air raid hit another position held by the militants, it added without giving further details. The ministry did not also say whether the raids were by the Yemeni air force or US drones.

But a ministry statement said Al-Qaeda has suffered “a heavy defeat in Loder in which hundreds of its elements have been killed and wounded in the painful blows they received from the heroes of the local committees and the army.

“The war on terror after Loder will spread to all the terrorist elements' hideouts ... and will not stop until (Al-Qaeda network) is uprooted,” it added.

Extremists have been trying to take over Loder since last week, in an attempt to strengthen their presence in Abyan province, which they virtually control.

At least 222 people, including 183 militants, were killed in five days as Al-Qaeda tried to seize Loder.

The United States has never formally acknowledged the use of drones against Al-Qaeda in Yemen, considered by Washington to be the most active and deadly branch of the global terror network.