A U.S. drone airstrike on a vehicle Monday east of Yemen’s capital of Sanaa killed three suspected al-Qaida terrorists and wounded two others, according to security officials.
The airstrike was the third to target al-Qaida in the area since Saturday and indicated an uptick in the U.S. military battle against the terror organization in Yemen.
The security officials said the five targeted Monday were traveling in a pickup truck when it was hit in Marib, about 25 miles outside its main city. Two were killed onsite; another died later of his wounds, according to officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Two of those killed were identified as Ali Saleh Toaiman and Qassim Nasser Toaiman. Both were members of the same clan and were among several hundred suspected al-Qaida terrorists freed by authorities in April 2012 after several months in detention, the officials said. The third was identified as Ahmed al-Ziadi, who is suspected of being an al-Qaida leader in Marib.
Yemen’s government, aided by the U.S., has waged a campaign against al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen, considered among the world’s most active.