ADEN (Reuters) - Local officials and residents in Yemen’s southern Lahj Province said a drone destroyed a vehicle travelling on a mountain road late on Saturday evening killing its two occupants and bringing to 15 the death toll from four strikes in three days.
The local officials and residents said the vehicle, which was travelling between Yafe and Radfan, was believed to be carrying arms and its occupants were suspected members of al Qaeda.
On Friday an air strike in Yemen’s eastern Hadramout Province killed five suspected militants, while two strikes in Hadramout and Marib Province killed eight militants on Thursday.
Yemen said on Wednesday it had foiled a plot by al Qaeda to seize the port of Mukalla, the capital of Hadramout and a major oil and gas export hub.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the movement’s local wing, has previously plotted unsuccessfully to attack international airliners and is seen in Washington as a potential threat to Yemen’s neighbour Saudi Arabia and Red Sea oil tankers.
A threat from al Qaeda last week caused the United States and Britain to evacuate staff from Yemen.
Yemen is one of a handful of countries where Washington acknowledges using drones, but it does not publicly comment on the practice.
Reporting By Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Angus McDowall