A drone strike near the Yemeni capital has killed three suspected al-Qaeda members, including a man wanted for a deadly attack on the US embassy in Sanaa, security officials say.
Officials said on Thursday that the drone strike, believed to have been carried out by the United States, targeted a car near the village of Beit al-Ahmar in the Sanhan region, 15km southeast of Sanaa.
According to the officials, one of the dead was Adnan al-Qadhi, a former jihadist fighter in Afghanistan and al-Qaeda member wanted for a 2008 car bomb attack on the US embassy that killed six Yemeni soldiers and four civilians.
Social media users were speculating over the origin of the drones.
Author of forthcoming book, The Last Refuge: Yemen al-Qaeda and America’s War in Arabia, Gregory Johnson, tweeted: “If today’s strike was indeed a US attack important question to ask: Was ‘Adnan al-Qadhi considered someone actively plotting against the US.”
Blogger and activist, Ibrahim Mothana, tweeted in apparent reference to Barack Obama: “Drone strikes in a “Secret War” by a “Nobel Peace Laureate”! Life can’t get more surreal #Yemen”.
US drones deployed in the region have backed Yemeni forces in combating fighters of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the group’s Yemen branch, considered by Washington to be the most active and deadly.
AQAP took advantage of the weakness of Yemen’s central government during an uprising last year against now ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, seizing large swathes of territory across the south.
But after a month-long offensive in May launched by Yemeni troops, most fighters fled to the more lawless desert regions of the east.