4 Suspected al-Qaida Members Killed in Drone Strike in Yemen

DUBAI (Reuters) -

Four suspected members of al-Qaida’s Yemen branch, including a local commander, were killed on Tuesday by a drone strike on their vehicle east of the capital Sanaa, local officials said.

It was the latest in a series of strikes by pilotless planes, believed to be operated by the United States, in war-torn Yemen.

The officials said the vehicle was traveling on a main road between the Marib governorate and al-Jawf when it was attacked.

Two senior al-Qaida members were killed in September in a suspected U.S. drone strike in the central province of al-Bayda, the third of its kind in central Yemen in one week.

The United States acknowledges using drones to combat the Islamist terrorist group in Yemen, regarded as one of al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branches, but does not comment publicly on attacks.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has exploited Yemen’s civil war to carve out a foothold there. Several leaders of the group have been killed by drone strikes in recent years.