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Drone strike kills three Qaeda suspects in Yemen

Drone strike kills three Qaeda suspects in Yemen

ADEN: Three suspected Al Qaeda members were killed in an apparent United States drone strike in Yemen's southeastern port city of Mukalla, a local official told AFP on Wednesday.

The drone “fired four missiles on three Al Qaeda militants sitting near the port of Mukalla, killing them immediately” late on Tuesday, said the official. The strike killed a “leading figure” within Al Qaeda, the official said, without disclosing his name.

Read: Drone strike kills four Al Qaeda suspects in Yemen

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has exploited months of fighting in Yemen between rebels and the beleaguered Saudi-backed government to consolidate its grip on Hadramawt's provincial capital Mukalla – a city of more than 200,000.

The United States considers AQAP to be the extremist group's deadliest global franchise and regularly targets its militants with armed drone strikes on Yemeni territory. It is the only government that operates the unmanned aircraft over the impoverished country.

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