[QODLink]
Middle East

Deadly drone attack in western Yemen

At least five killed in strike on car in village in Marib province, with tribesman saying they were al-Qaeda fighters.

Last updated: 21 May 2014 08:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
US officials rarely acknowledge the covert drone programme operated in Yemen [EPA]

A drone strike in eastern Yemen has killed at least five people in the first such raid since the army launched an offensive against al-Qaeda-linked fighters last month.

The pilotless aircraft targeted a vehicle carrying "al-Qaeda members" near Al-Husun, a village in Marib province, one tribal source told the AFP news agency.

The United States is the only country operating drones over Yemen, but US officials rarely acknowledge the covert drone programme.

Yemen's army launched a major offensive on April 29 against strongholds of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in three provinces in the south and east.

It says it has inflicted heavy losses on the fighters.

The offensive was preceded by a wave of US drone strikes that killed scores of suspected al-Qaeda suspects last month in southern and central regions.

AQAP has been linked to a number of failed plots against the US, and its leader Nasser al-Wuhayshi recently appeared in a rare video in which he vowed to attack Western "crusaders" wherever they are.

Al-Qaeda uses the term crusaders to refer to Western powers, especially those countries which have intervened militarily in Muslim countries, such as Britain, France and the US.

The fighters took advantage of a 2011 uprising that forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power to seize large swathes of southern and eastern Yemen.

The army recaptured several major towns in 2012, but has struggled to reassert control in rural areas, despite the backing of militiamen recruited among local tribes.

244

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.