Drone strikes kill nine ‘al-Qaeda militants’ in Yemen
A tribal leader said soldiers of an unknown nationality were seen parachuting into the area and clashes ensued
Drone strikes killed nine suspected al-Qaeda militants Saturday in southeast Yemen, where the U.S. military launched a failed operation last month to rescue an American hostage, security and tribal sources said.
"Several drone strikes have targeted al-Qaeda positions in Nusab (in Shabwa province), killing nine members of the network," a security source told AFP.
A tribal leader said soldiers of an unknown nationality were seen parachuting into the area and clashes ensued, suggesting it could be a new operation to try to free the U.S. hostage.
It was not immediately possible to verify that information.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Thursday threatened the imminent execution of U.S. journalist Luke Somers who was kidnapped more than a year ago in Sanaa.
The United States has said that American and Yemeni forces recently tried unsuccessfully to rescue Somers.
According to Yemen's defense ministry, al-Qaeda moved hostages, including the U.S. journalist, a Briton and a South African, days before last month's U.S.-Yemeni raid in southeastern Hadramawt province.
Yemen is a key U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaeda, allowing Washington to conduct a longstanding drone war against the group on its territory.
AQAP is considered by Washington as the most dangerous affiliate of Al-Qaeda.
American captive in Yemen killed in rescue attemptSouth African teacher Pierre Korkie was also killed during the rescue operation, a relief group that was negotiating his release said Middle East
U.S. failed to rescue American hostage in YemenSomers was kidnapped in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in September 2013 Middle East
Yemen’s al-Qaeda threatens to kill U.S. hostageSomers was kidnapped in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in September 2013 Middle East
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