August 9, 2013
A U.S. drone strike killed at least three al-Qaida suspects late Thursday in southern Yemen, the third air raid in less than 24 hours amid terrorist threat that forced Western countries to evacuate their diplomatic personnel from the Arab country, local officials said Friday.
The strike targeted the militants in Habayer area in the outskirts of Ghayl Bawazir city, some 30 km east of Mukalla, the capital city of Yemen’s southeastern province of Hadramout, Interior ministry officials said.
Several others were wounded in the strike.
Residents of Ghayl Bawazir said the explosion was powerful as it smashed windows of some houses, adding that Habayer area is well known for harboring militants.
The fresh strike came a few hours after two similar raids took place in Hadramout and nearby Marib province, leaving at least seven militants dead.
Washington has escalated its drone strike on the al-Qaida network in Yemen since it closed its diplomatic mission in Sanaa on Sunday.
The Yemeni government has boosted security presence around Western embassies in the capital as precautionary measures after the United States and Britain temporarily evacuated their diplomatic staff from Sanaa on Tuesday over alert of possible attacks by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was founded in January 2009 after the merger of Saudi and Yemeni branches.