x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Yemen: new US drone strike kills two Al Qaeda militants

Members of the same clan, both men were freed by authorities in April last year after several months in detention on suspicion of belonging to Al Qaeda

SANAA // A US drone airstrike on a car east of Yemen's capital today killed two suspected Al Qaeda militants and wounded three others, two of them seriously, according to security officials.

They said the five were travelling in a pick-up truck when it was hit in the province of Maarib. The three wounded were travelling in the vehicle's back bed, according to the officials.

The two killed were identified as Ali Saleh Toaiman and Qassim Nasser Toaiman. Members of the same clan, both men were freed by authorities in April last year after several months in detention on suspicion of belonging to Al Qaeda, according to the officials.

The two are thought to have fought government forces in the southern Abyan province, where Al Qaeda militants gained a foothold before they were driven out last year.

Yemen's government, aided by the US, has waged a campaign against Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The group is considered among the world's most active, having planned a series of foiled or aborted attacks on US territory.

The United States rarely comments on its military role in Yemen but has acknowledged targeting Al Qaeda militants in the past.