ADEN Oct 18 Nine suspected al Qaeda militants
were killed in what a local security source and residents said
was a U.S. drone attack on a farmhouse outside a town in
The farmhouse just west of Jaar, one of two southern towns
that Yemen's army took back from rebel control this summer, was
hit by three separate missile strikes at dawn, they said.
The residents said they found six charred bodies and the
scattered remains of three other people, including Nader
al-Shaddadi, a senior al Qaeda militant in the southern Abyan
province who led the group that occupied Jaar.
The Yemeni Defence Ministry's website said that nine al
Qaeda members, including Shaddadi, had been killed in an attack
by Yemeni troops. Residents said the soldiers arrived after the
A local security source said two of the men were wearing
explosive belts, suggesting they were planning suicide attacks
Yemen, where al Qaeda militants exploited a security vacuum
during last year's uprising against Ali Abdullah Saleh, has seen
an intensified campaign of U.S. missile strikes in recent
months, often using the pilotless aircraft known as drones.
Interim president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, praised by the
U.S. ambassador in Sanaa as being more effective against al
Qaeda than his predecessor, was quoted as saying during a U.S.
trip last month that he personally approved every attack.
While Washington usually avoids comment on the strikes in
Yemen, the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which
tracks U.S. operations, says as many as 56 civilians have been
killed this year by drones.
Many Yemenis complain the U.S. focus on militants is a
violation of sovereignty that is driving many towards al Qaeda
and diverting attention from other pressing issues such as
unemployment, corruption, water depletion and economic revival.