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Drone strike kills 5 Qaeda militants: Yemen official

A strike by an unmanned drone killed five suspected members of the Al-Qaeda in eastern Yemen today, a security official said.

world Updated: Sep 05, 2012 17:45 IST

A strike by an unmanned drone killed five suspected members of the Al-Qaeda in eastern Yemen today, a security official said.

"Five Al-Qaeda members were killed in the raid that targeted a house in the village of Al-Ain in Hadramawt province," said the official, requesting anonymity. He said two middle-ranking members of the local branch of the Al-Qaeda were among the victims.

The United States (US) is the only country that has drones in the region and in recent months has been carrying out strikes on Al-Qaeda targets in the south and east of the country and in the Arabian peninsula.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has taken advantage of the weakness of the central government during a year of protests against ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh to expand its presence in the impoverished country.

Al-Qaeda loyalists have carried out a spate of deadly attacks against Yemeni security forces and their militia allies since Saleh's successor President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi came to power, pledging to crush the militants.

In an all-out offensive launched in May, the army retook a string of towns in Abyan province in the south.