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Drone Strike Rings in Second Landmark Drone Hearing

Yemeni delegation addresses lawmakers Tuesday on impact US foreign policy is having on families and communities

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

(Screenshot from RT video)As Yemeni Faisal Jabar prepared to address U.S. lawmakers Tuesday about the drone strike that killed two members of his family, media reports confirmed new casualties following a U.S. airstrike near his village.

At least three men were killed when an airstrike hit a car traveling in the Ghayl Bawazir area of Hadramout. Local witnesses told the Associated Press that the strike came from a U.S. drone aircraft and a Yemeni official confirmed that their government had not carried out any strikes in the area.

Witnesses told Xinhua that "fire engulfed the vehicle soon after the attack" and a "powerful explosion was heard after the attack." Reportedly the identities of those killed were "unclear."

The attack occurred hours before a delegation from Yemen prepared to appear before a Congressional briefing Tuesday to testify on the impact U.S. drone strikes have had on their families, their communities and "their efforts for a democratic transition in Yemen."

Faisal bin Ali Jaber—whose brother-in-law and nephew were killed by a US drone strike on August 29, 2012—will be joined by Entesar al Qadhi, a leading female politician and youth representative at the National Dialogue Conference in Yemen, and Baraa Shiban, the Yemen project coordinator for the legal group Reprieve.

The hearing is only the second time victims of drone strikes have appeared before Congress. Last month, the Rehman family gave their account to a nearly-empty room of a U.S. drone attack that killed their grandmother and injured the two children in the remote tribal region of North Waziristan, Pakistan last October.

Organized by CODEPINK and hosted by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the hearing will begin at 4 PM EST. A live stream can be viewed here and followed on Twitter below.

Reporting on drone strikes in what she calls the "the second most deadly hotspot in the clandestine US drone program, after Pakistan," RT correspondent Lucy Kafanov recently traveled to the Hadramout region to speak with community members whose "sleepy farming village" was "thrust into the war on terror" after an anonymous airstrike.

You can watch her special report below:

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