Aden: A suspected US drone strike has killed five members of al-Qaeda travelling in the same vehicle in eastern Yemen, a local official told.

"A drone fired two missiles at an all-terrain vehicle...killing its five occupants, all members of al-Qaeda," said the official, who requested anonymity. The attack happened late yesterday near the village of Al-Qotn, in the province of Hadramut, he added. Security forces had deployed around the site of the strike and sealed it off, said witnesses.

The United States is the only country that has drones in the region and in recent months has been carrying out strikes on al-Qaeda targets in the south and east of the country and in the Arabian Peninsula.

al-Qaeda militants have carried out several deadly attacks against Yemeni security services since President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who has repeatedly vowed to battle extremists, came to power this year.

In July, Yemen announced it had placed its security services on high alert to prevent "terrorist" attacks after it uncovered a plot to launch assaults against security and military checkpoints.

The Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is believed to be the most effective and lethal branch of the global network.


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