BFF-59 10 suspected jihadists killed in Yemen drone strike, clashes

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BFF-59

YEMEN-CONFLICT

10 suspected jihadists killed in Yemen drone strike, clashes

ADEN, July 22, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Ten suspected Al-Qaeda jihadists and two soldiers fighting for Yemen’s government have been killed in clashes and a drone strike, local officials and security sources said Sunday.

The US military is the only force known to operate armed drones over Yemen.

Officials in Marab loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognised government said a drone on Sunday targeted a house used by Al-Qaeda in the central province, killing four jihadists.

Separately, six Al-Qaeda members and two pro-government soldiers were killed in clashes Friday following an attack on a jihadist site in southern Shabwa province, security sources said.

The United States considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to be the radical group’s most dangerous branch.

A long-running drone war against AQAP has intensified since US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

AQAP has flourished in the chaos of the country’s civil war, which pits the Saudi-backed government against Shiite Huthi rebels.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed in the Yemen conflict since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government’s fight against the Huthis.

The conflict has pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine, triggering what the United Nations says is the world’s worst single humanitarian crisis.

BSS/AFP/MRU/2311hrs