DUBAI - Nine suspected al-Qaida terrorists were killed in what a security source and residents said was a US drone attack on a farmhouse outside a town in southern Yemen that was held by militants last year.

The farmhouse just west of Jaar, one of two southern towns that Yemen's army took back from rebel control this summer, was hit by three separate missile strikes at dawn, they said.

The residents said they found six charred bodies and the scattered remains of three other people, including Nader al-Shaddadi, a senior al-Qaida terrorist in the southern Abyan province who led the group that occupied Jaar.

The security source confirmed that Shaddadi was among the dead and that four others were from the town of Jaar. He said two of the men were wearing explosive belts, suggesting they were planning suicide attacks on Thursday.

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