A drone strike killed three suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen late on Friday, a local official and a tribal source told Reuters On Saturday.

Yemen is the main stronghold of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of the Islamist militant group's most active wings.

The strike targeted a vehicle in the Mafraq al-Saeed area of the Shabwa province in southern Yemen, which the suspected militants were traveling in, the sources said.

The United States acknowledges using drones in Yemen but does not oment publicly on the practice.

Wealthy Gulf neighbors and the West fear for the stability of Yemen, which shares a long border with the world's top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.

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