ADEN, March 30 A U.S. drone attack killed at
least five suspected al Qaeda militants travelling in a car in
southern Yemen's Shabwa province on Friday, local officials
The drone set the vehicle on fire and killed all its
occupants, one official said. One bystander was also killed and
five were wounded, officials and residents told Reuters.
A second drone hit a building used by militants but it was
empty at the time, residents said.
Al Qaeda has strengthened its hold on southern areas of the
Arabian Peninsula country during the past year of protests
against veteran ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh, who left office in
The United States has retaliated with a campaign of drone
strikes on suspected al Qaeda militants.
A text message sent to journalists, purporting to come from
the al Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia (Supporters of Islamic
Law) group, said two militants were "martyred" in the attack and
four passersby were injured.
Earlier this month, U.S. drone attacks killed at least 25 al
Qaeda-linked fighters including one of their leaders, and a
Yemeni air force raid killed 20, in the biggest airstrikes since
the new president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, took office.
Neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter,
shares U.S. concern over the expansion of al-Qaeda's regional
wing in a country next to major Red Sea oil shipping lanes.
In a separate incident, suspected al Qaeda fighters shot
dead two men in the southern port city of Aden on Friday, a
local official said. The victims belonged to a clan that has
opposed the group's militants in nearby Abyan province, he said.
In a persistent dispute over fishing rights with Eritrea,
Yemeni forces captured two Eritrean soldiers trying to seize a
Yemeni fishing boat near the Red Sea port of Hudaida, Yemen's
Interior Ministry said.
(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Firouz Sedarat;
editing by Tim Pearce)