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10 Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen drone strikes

Fighters from al-Qaeda PHOTO: AFP/Guillaume Briquet

Ten suspected Al-Qaeda members in southern Yemen were killed in drone strikes over the weekend, government officials said Monday, as raids targeting the radical group intensify.

The United States is the only force known to operate armed drones over war-torn Yemen, where thousands have died in the conflict and millions now face famine.

Fadl Tissi, Han Tissi and Sultan Amri — three Yemenis “known for their ties to Al-Qaeda” — were killed when their car was hit in a drone attack on Qaifa in the central Baida province late Sunday, a local government official said.

Another drone attack at around midnight Saturday targeted three vehicles on the road from the southern province of Shabwa to Baida, killing seven suspected jihadists, an official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Washington considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to be the radical group’s most dangerous branch.

A long-running US drone war against AQAP has intensified since President Donald Trump took office in January.

AQAP has flourished in the chaos of the country’s civil war, which pits the Saudi-backed government against Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies.

More than 8,700 people have been killed in the conflict since a Saudi-led military coalition intervened on the government’s side in March 2015.

Al-Qaeda’s jihadist rivals, the Islamic State group, have also carried out several deadly attacks in the country.

Washington in October said it had killed dozens of IS fighters at training camps in Baida.

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