Drone Strike Kills 4 Qaida Suspects in Yemen's Mukalla
Four suspected al-Qaida members were killed Monday in an apparent U.S. drone strike on the Yemeni port city of Mukalla, which the jihadists overran last month, an official said.
The drone targeted a vehicle at the entrance to a presidential palace in Mukalla, capital of the southeastern province of Hadramawt, the official said, asking not to be named.
"Four al-Qaida members were killed, including leaders, and others wounded," he said, without being able to name those killed.
A U.S. drone strike last month killed the senior al-Qaida official who appeared in a video claiming the deadly January attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, a monitor said Thursday.
Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi was killed in the April strike along with his eldest son and other fighters, also near the palace in Mukalla.
The announcement of his death came in a video posted last week on Twitter by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula -- which Washington considers the international terror network's deadliest branch.
The United States is the only country that operates drones over war-torn Yemen.
Al-Qaida has exploited fighting between rebels and beleaguered government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition to consolidate its grip on Hadramawt province.
Washington has acknowledged that al-Qaida is gaining ground but has vowed to keep up its battle against the group.