A US drone strike killed five people in a Southern Province of Yemen late Thursday morning, according to anonymous Yemeni security officials.
The officials offered no word on further casualties or details on the identities of the victims.
The US has not commented on the attack; however, US drone strikes have become increasingly common in the region. The Obama administration approved 'signature' strikes in Yemen earlier this year. The strikes target suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen but are done so even when suspects' identities are unknown, making it difficult to decipher between militant and civilian, according to reports by the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
A report released in September by researchers at the Stanford and NYU schools of law showed US drone policy is "terrorizing" civilians around the world and that its overall impact is "counterproductive" for international security and human rights.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that over 160 civilians have been killed by US drones strikes in Yemen so far, including 34 children.