Drone strike kills 2 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

AFP , Monday 24 Dec 2012

A suspected US drone strike in Yemen left two al-Qaeda members dead, including a Jordanian

Two Al-Qaeda members, including a Jordanian, were killed in a suspected US drone strike in Yemen on Monday, government and tribal sources said.

"A drone strike targeted a vehicle killing two Al-Qaeda members -- a Yemeni and a Jordanian" in Manaseh of central Bayda province, around 170 kilometres (105 miles) southeast of Sanaa, a local government official said requesting anonymity.

A security official identified one of the militants killed as Abdullah Hussein al-Waeli, an Al-Qaeda member from Marib province who was wanted after he escaped from prison two years ago. No details were given on the Jordanian.

Tribal sources said three other militants were wounded in the attack.

Al-Qaeda had declared an Islamic emirate in nearby Radaa earlier this year, shortly before being driven out by tribal militiamen.

Tareq al-Dahab, who led the Al-Qaeda fighters in the January raid on the town, was shot dead in February.

Dahab was a brother-in-law of slain US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed in a suspected US drone strike in September.

US drones have backed Yemeni forces combating militants of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group's Yemen branch, considered by Washington to be the most active and deadliest franchise of the global jihadist network.

AQAP took advantage of the weakness of Yemen's central government during an uprising last year against now ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seizing large swathes of territory across the south.

But after a month-long offensive launched in May by Yemeni troops, most militants fled to the more lawless desert regions of the east.

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