Suspected US drone strike kills 3 al-Qaida members in Yemen

January 31, 2015 23:18

ADEN - A suspected US drone strike on a car in Yemen killed three men believed to be al-Qaida militants on Saturday, local residents said, showing no let up in the hits despite the resignation of the president who backed the program.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is considered one of the most powerful branches of the global militant group and claimed responsibility for deadly shootings in Paris on January 7.

For years, the United States has cooperated with Yemeni security forces to track and bomb AQAP members in the country's rural badlands - a strategy that rights groups have criticized for causing repeated civilian deaths.

But after Shi'ite Muslim rebels overran the capital Sanaa in September and took over President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's residence earlier this month, he and his cabinet resigned.

Hadi was a staunch defender of the drone program, and his exit has left the Islamist Houthi rebels, whose motto is "death to America", the de facto rulers of the country.

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