Friday, 18 May 2012

Drone strike in Yemen kills two suspected militants

According to a number of reports, a drone strike in eastern Yemen has killed two alleged al-Qa'ida militants. A security official told AFP news agency that the unmanned aircraft hit a car in the province of Hadramout. He noted that the strike caused a number of subsequent blasts as the vehicle was reportedly carrying explosives.

A week ago, the Yemeni army launched an offensive to wrest control of cities in south Yemen from fighters belonging to the al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula. Both Washington and Sana'a deny there are drones deployed in Yemen, but there are wide reports of their use.

Additionally, some Yemeni officials and Western diplomats claim that US military specialists are closely involved in the Yemeni government's campaign against Qa'ida militants.

Over the past year, Yemen has been plagued by political upheaval and protests, which ousted long-term Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. A newly-elected government is under pressure from the US to curb militant activity across the country.

Al-Qa'ida militants have taken advantage of the upheaval and breakdown of central government control to gain ground across Yemen, which is now considered to be the stronghold of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Suorces: AFP, BBC News, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

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