U.S. drone attack kills five suspected militants in Yemen

ADEN, Yemen Wed Sep 5, 2012 5:29am EDT

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ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Five suspected Islamist militants were killed in a U.S. drone attack on Wednesday in Yemen's eastern province of Hadramout, a Yemeni security official said.

The strike targeted a house where the suspected militants were hiding in the Wadi al-Ain area, said the security official. "Five militants were dead and three were injured and managed to escape".

The United States, which fears the spread of militants in Yemen, has stepped up attacks by unmanned aircraft this year. This is the fourth strike in two weeks in Hadramout province.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is based in Yemen and has mounted operations in neighboring Saudi Arabia as well as attempting to launch attacks against the United States.

On Sunday, ten civilians including a 10-year-old girl were killed by a Yemeni government air strike that apparently had missed its target.

Tribal heads met with government officials in the central city of Redaa where the attack happened, officials said.

"It's been agreed that compensation will be paid to the families of the victims," said a tribal source.

Islamist militants gained ground in Yemen and took control of several towns in the south during an uprising which forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in February.

The army, with backing from the United States, forced them out of some areas this year but they have hit back with a series of suicide bombings targeting government institutions.

(Reporting by Dhuyazen Mukhashaf; Editing by Diana Abdallah)

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