Suspected al Qaeda militant killed in drone strike in central Yemen

Photo: Suspected al Qaeda militant killed in drone strike in central Yemen / Arab World

A suspected al Qaeda militant was killed in a drone strike late on Monday in Yemen's central Maarib province, an oil-producing area where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operates, local tribesmen said.

The sources said three rockets, presumed to be fired by a U.S. drone, hit a car that a man who went by the name of Ebad al-Shabwani was driving. The car was completely burnt, the tribesmen said, Reuters reported.

The U.S.-allied country, which shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, has been hit by lawlessness and violence since 2011 when mass protests forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

The United States has stepped up drone strikes as part of a campaign against AQAP, regarded by Washington as one of the most lethal wings of the network.

Yemen, AQAP's main stronghold, is among a handful of countries where the United States acknowledges using drones, although it does not comment on the practice. Washington views Yemen as a front line in its fight against al Qaeda.

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