U.S. drone strikes kill 8 al-Qaida suspects in central Yemen

NZ Week

SANAA, Jan. 20 — An unmanned warplane killed at least eight al-Qaida suspects in three successive airstrikes late on Saturday in Yemen’s central province of Marib, government and tribal officials said Sunday.

“Multiple airstrikes on Wadi Abida in Marib on Saturday night destroyed two vehicles carrying members of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and killed about eight operatives,” an official at the provincial Criminal Investigation Unit in Marib told Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity.

According to tribal sources, the first drone strike targeted a vehicle parking at an orchard owned by a tribesman suspected of having links with an al-Qaida local network in al-Masil area of Wadi Abida in Marib, but it missed the target and caused no casualties.

Half an hour later, the same warplane fired a missile near the same vehicle when two militants were inspecting the previous strike, killing both of them.

The third strike occurred an hour later at midnight about one mile away from al-Masil area, killing six al-Qaida operatives onboard a military vehicle, which the militants seized from the army during clashes last month.

“The trio airstrikes came 20 days after the leader of AQAP Nasser al-Wihaishy signed a truce deal mediated by clerics with the Yemeni government to halt attacks on local interests,” said Abdel Razak al-Jamal, a Yemeni researcher and expert on the AQAP affairs.

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