Several Killed in Yemen Drone Strikes

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Five people have been killed by two drone strikes in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, the country's interior ministry said.

Several Killed in Yemen Drone Strikes

A ministry statement said that the men were al-Qaeda suspects, and that they were killed.

The statement did not whether the drones were launched by Yemen or the United States, Al Jazeera reported.

However, local officials in Abyan, which was a stronghold for Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other armed groups during an uprising that ousted veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh last year, told Reutersthat that the drones were American.

AQAP is regarded by the United States as one of the most active wings of the network, posing a serious threat to Western interests including oil tanker traffic in the Gulf.

Last year, the Yemeni army, with US backing, drove al-Qaeda fighters and their allies from some of their southern strongholds.

The fighters have since regrouped and mounted attacks on government officials and installations.

The US regularly launches drone strikes against AQAP in a campaign that has been criticised by rights groups as executing suspects without trial, with civilians often killed alongside terrorism suspects.

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