SANAA - Three suspected al-Qaida militants were killed in northwestern Yemen on Wednesday, in what local officials said was a strike by a US drone.

The US-allied country which shares a long border with Saudi Arabia has been raked by lawlessness and violence since 2011, when mass protests forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

The suspects were hit as they were traveling in a car in al Jawf province, the officials said, adding that a local al-Qaida leader, identified as Ali Saleh Jraim, was among those killed.

The United States has stepped up drone strikes as part of a campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded by Washington as the most active wing of the network.


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