Seven al-Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen drone strike

The United States is the only country that operates drones over the war-torn country. (File Photo: AP)

Seven suspected al-Qaeda militants were killed in an apparent U.S. drone strike on the Yemeni port city of Mukalla which the militants overran earlier this month, a local official said Wednesday.

The overnight strike hit a vehicle parked near the presidential palace in Mukalla, capital of Hadramawt province, witnesses said.

The United States, whose intelligence agencies consider the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to be the most dangerous branch of the militants network, is the only country that operates drones over the war-torn country.

On April 14, AQAP announced the death of one of its ideological leaders, Ibrahim al-Rubaish, in a similar drone strike in Hadramawt.

Al-Qaeda has exploited fighting between rebels and beleaguered government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition to consolidate its grip on the southeastern province.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has acknowledged that al-Qaeda is gaining ground but has vowed that Washington will keep up its battle against the group.

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Last Update: 16:51 KSA 19:51 - GMT 16:51
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