At least three suspected al Qaeda militants have been killed by a drone strike in central Yemen, tribal sources and the Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
Yemeni officials will not comment on who exactly carries out such drone attacks or on whose orders, but President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi spoken openly in favor of the strikes during a trip to the United States in September.
However, discontent with the strikes among some Yemenis is growing. Witnesses said armed tribesman, angry at what they said was a drone attack on an area inhabited by civilians, blocked the main road linking the capital of Maarib province with Sanaa.
Tribal sources from Pakistan’s northwest said on Saturday a U.S. drone attack had killed a senior al Qaeda commander in the latest blow to the militant Islamist group that has been targeted in many similar attacks.
Abu Zaid was killed, along with 10 other people, in the drone strike on a hideout in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, one of the tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan, early on Thursday, the sources said. Zaid had just moved to the hideout a few days ago, they said.
Pakistani security officials based in North Waziristan said they were aware of the death of a senior al Qaeda commander but could not confirm his identity or rank.
Zaid replaced Abu Yahya al-Libi as one of al Qaeda’s most powerful figures in June after Libi was killed by a U.S. drone strike.
At least 24 people were killed Monday as Al-Qaeda militants raided an army barracks, the latest in a spate of attacks by the terror network which has boosted its presence across Yemen’s lawless south and east.
“Fifteen Al-Qaeda gunmen were killed in clashes with members of the 111th Brigade in Loder in Abyan province,” a stronghold of the terror network, the defence ministry 26sep.net reported.
A local source in the town of Jaar, where dead and wounded extremists are taken, said 10 militants were killed in the battle.
Five soldiers and four tribesmen fighting alongside the army also died, military and tribal sources said.