US Continues Drone Strikes in Yemen

Lethal airstrikes in Yemen: at least 45 fatalities

US and Yemini airstrikes beginning late Friday have killed at least 45 according to varying reports from the region. The US has increased its drone attacks in Yemen as tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced in recent violence there.

The Guardian reports:

At least 45 militants linked to al-Qaida, including a number of tribal leaders, have been killed by air strikes in south Yemen.

Twenty-five militants were killed in Bayda, about 166 miles south-east of the capital, Sana'a, on Friday, while 20 died at a base in the restive southern town of Jaar, residents told Reuters on Saturday. [...]

Working with the Yemeni authorities, the US has repeatedly used drones to attack militants from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, warned that Yemen was facing a new wave of internal displacement as tens of thousands of civilians flee tribal clashes in the north and fighting between the government and militants in the south.

It said that, in the past two weeks alone, 1,800 people had been displaced by the latest escalation in fighting between government troops and militants in the Abyan governorate.

Reuters reports:

U.S. drone attacks killed at least 25 al Qaeda-linked fighters including one of their leaders while a Yemeni air force raid killed 20 more in the south, sources said on Saturday, in the biggest airstrikes since Yemen's new president took office. [...]

Local residents in Jaar, a southern town seized by militants in March last year, said Yemen's air force had killed 20 al Qaeda-linked fighters at a military base, also destroying weapons and military equipment. [...]

a government source said the number of militants killed in an air strike launched late on Friday in Bayda, about 267 km (166 miles) southeast of the capital Sanaa, had risen to 25. He said Hadaar al-Homaiqani, a local al Qaeda leader, was among the Islamist fighters killed.

Tribal sources said the Bayda attacks were carried out by U.S. drone airplanes, but this was not possible to independently confirm. The United States, working with the Yemeni authorities, has repeatedly used drones to attack militants.

"The bodies were recovered on Saturday morning after the cessation of the attacks carried out by U.S. drone airplanes, and the search for the remaining victims is still under way," one of the sources told Reuters on Saturday morning. [...]

Residents earlier said fighter planes had raided the western outskirts of Bayda town where the Ansar al-Sharia militants, who have been fighting Yemen's security forces since mid-2011, had been based.

"Flames and smoke could be seen rising from the area," one resident told Reuters by telephone. [...]

The United States has used its drones repeatedly to attack militants from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

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