ADEN - A suspected US drone strike killed five al-Qaida fighters in eastern Yemen on Wednesday, officials said, as Islamist militant groups claimed a string of attacks in the war-torn country.
The officials said the bombs hit the men in their car while they were traveling on a coast road east of the Arabian Sea port of Mukalla, which was occupied by al-Qaida fighters in April after security forces retreated.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is the deadliest branch of the global militant organization and has taken advantage of a war pitting Houthi militiamen against forces loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to grab territory and operate more openly.
The chaos has also given rise to a Yemeni branch of the hardline Islamic State group, which on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a bomb planted near a police car in the capital Sanaa. No one was hurt in the blast.
Al-Qaida on Tuesday said it carried out 12 separate gun and bomb attacks on Houthi fighters in the central province on al-Bayda. It was immediately possible to confirm the claims.