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US Drone Strikes Kill 5 Qaeda Suspects in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Predator drone (AP Photo/ Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Two strikes apparently carried out by US drones killed overnight five suspected al-Qaeda members as they were travelling through two Yemeni provinces, an official and military sources said on Wednesday.

One strike hit a vehicle in the southern province of Shabwa, killing two suspected militants, the sources said.

A second hit a car in the province of Marib, east of the capital Sana’a, killing three, they added.

A local official said that authorities had not been able to identify those killed because the bodies were so badly burnt.

Washington has sharply intensified its air war against militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) since President Donald Trump took office in January.

The Pentagon said on April 3 that it had carried out more than 70 strikes against jihadist targets in Yemen since February 28.

Washington regards al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based branch as its most dangerous and accuses it of plotting multiple attacks against the West.

In late January, at least 30 people were killed in a US commando dawn raid in southern Yemen, including at least 10 women and children, in the first such military operation authorized by Trump.

The new US administration has not yet laid out a clear policy on drone strikes, but Trump has said he would support an escalation of the fight against militant groups.