US Drone strike kills Al Qaeda leaders in Yemen


ADEN (APP) - A possible US drone strike killed seven suspected Al-Qaeda operatives in central Yemen , a security official said.

The official said a missile fired by what was "probably an American drone" hit an apartment building in the Al-Wadi area of Marib province, east of the capital Sanaa, killing seven people late Sunday.

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The United States, which rarely acknowledges its years-long unmanned drone campaign in Yemen , is thought to have carried out dozens of strikes against what it says are Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members.

AQAP and the Islamic State group have exploited a power vacuum created by the conflict between the government and Iran-backed rebels to expand their presence in the Arabian Peninsula country.

The US has vowed to continue its campaign against AQAP , which it considers to be the Al-Qaeda network's deadliest franchise.

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A Saudi-led Arab military coalition that backs the Yemeni government has also turned its sights on AQAP , targeting it with air strikes.

The coalition is supporting pro-government forces which launched an offensive this year to retake several towns from AQAP .

More than 6,600 people have been killed in the Yemeni conflict since March 2015, the UN says.

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