US drone strike kills four in Yemen

Sanaa, Jan 24: A US drone strike hit a group of people driving a car in Yemen’s central province of Marib Thursday night, killing at least four people and injuring several others, a Yemeni interior ministry official said.

“Four people were killed in the US drone strike which took place Thursday night in coordination with the Yemeni interior ministry,” Xinhua quoted the official as saying. He said the targets included an Al Qaeda suspect.

He said that about seven others were seriously injured in the attack, which hit the suspects’ vehicle in Wadi Abida in Marib province, some 173 km northeast of Sanaa.

The Yemeni interior ministry issued a statement after the attack, saying it foiled an attempt by Al Qaeda militants to seize some government institutions in Marib province. No further details were given in the statement.

It was the second US drone strike since the beginning of this year after unmanned plane killed two suspected Al Qaeda militants in Yemen’s southeastern province of Hadramout Jan 8.

The US has escalated its drone strikes on the Al Qaeda network in Yemen since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February 2012 after a UN-backed power transfer deal removed former President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power.

The Yemen-based Al Qaeda offshoot frequently launched revenge attacks on local targets, the military and foreign missions in the country.

On Dec 5, 12 Al Qaeda militants attacked the Yemeni defence ministry, killing over 56 people and injuring more than 200 others.

IANS