Two al-Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen drone strike

The sources said the drone, apparently American, hit the fighters on Friday evening as they rode a motorbike through the Sawmaa area of central Baida province.
Image for representational purpose only. (File photo | AP)
Image for representational purpose only. (File photo | AP)

YEMEN: Two suspected al-Qaeda militants were killed in a drone strike in war-torn Yemen, local security sources said on Saturday amid a surge in US raids against jihadists.

The sources said the drone, apparently American, hit the fighters on Friday evening as they rode a motorbike through the Sawmaa area of central Baida province.

The region is a stronghold of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has taken advantage of the chaos caused by more than two years of civil war to expand its presence in Yemen.

Baida was the site of the first raid ordered by US President Donald Trump after he took office in January. 

The US has since escalated its drone war in Yemen, where security officials have reported dozens of suspected jihadist fighters killed in strikes on Abyan, Baida and the neighbouring province of Shabwa. 

The Pentagon says it has carried out over 70 air strikes in Yemen since February 28.

More than 7,700 people -- most of them civilians -- have been killed in Yemen's war since a March 2015 military intervention by a Saudi-led coalition against Shiite Huthi rebels, the World Heath Organization says.

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