US drone strike kills Al Qaida leader in Yemen

ADEN: A US drone killed a “commander” of Al Qaida militants in Yemen in a strike on the central province of Baida, security sources said on Thursday.

Shroum Al Sanaani, a local military commander with Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) group, was travelling on a motorbike along with an unidentified man when the strike killed them both, the sources said.

The attack was carried out on the Yakala area, a stronghold for the jihadist group where US drones have repeatedly targeted Al Qaida members in the past few months.

The United States considers the Yemen-based AQAP to be the group’s most dangerous branch.

A long-running drone war against AQAP has intensified since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

An air raid he ordered that month killed a US Navy SEAL and several Yemeni civilians in Baida province, south of Marib.

AQAP has taken advantage of a war between the Saudi-backed government and Al Houthi rebels to expand its presence in several areas of eastern and Southern Yemen.

More than 8,000 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the conflict in 2015.

Seven Yemeni government soldiers were seriously wounded in a car bomb blast in the southern province of Abyan on Thursday, the security source said.

The soldiers are members of force fighting against Al Houthis. Gulf News

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