US drone strike kills 5 al-Qaida militants in central Yemen

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-18 9:27:45

A US drone strike killed at least five al-Qaida militants in Yemen's central province of Dhamar on Wednesday night, an interior ministry official told Xinhua.

"Five al-Qaida operatives, including its leader in Dhamar province Hamid al-Radami, were confirmed killed by two missiles fired from the unmanned warplane tonight," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"The targeted militants were all in a car driving in Madhlab area in Wisab Alaly district near the house of al-Qaida's local leader al-Radami," the official said, adding that "they were all under surveillance since they left al-Radami's house few minutes before the airstrike."

"It was a joint military operation between Yemeni, US and Saudi intelligence services," he said.

Al-Radami, also known as Abu Osama, had set up several hidden training camps for al-Qaida in Dhamar province, about 100 km south of Yemen's capital Sanaa.

The strike came after a pause of more than two months by the U. S. unmanned warplanes, which Yemeni security officials said take off from a US military base in southern Saudi Arabia.

Dozens of al-Qaida members have been killed in such airstrikes since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was sworn in in February 2012, after a year-long unrest weakened the control of the central government and allowed the militants to take over swaths of territory in the south. The Yemeni government managed to recapture several of those southern cities in May 2012.

But on Jan. 23, a US drone strike targeting armed militants mistakenly hit a house of civilians in Yemen's southeastern province of al-Bayda, killing two children, according to Yemeni officials.

Posted in: Mid-East

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