Written By: Shuaib M. Al Mosawa
Article Date: Jan 22, 2013 - 11:53:30 PM
Predator drone firing missile ©dronewarsuk.wordpress.com
A drone strike killed three suspected al-Qaeda militants in eastern Yemen Monday afternoon, raising the number of militants killed by drone strikes since Saturday to 14.
Marib governor’s press office said Monday’s drone struck a car carrying al-Qaeda militants in the Sirwah area of Marib province, killing three militants and injuring three more. “All killed were al-Qaeda militants,” said Ali Al-Ghulaisi, spokesperson with the Marib governor’s press office. Al-Ghulaisi said the three militants were identified as Ali Salih al-Dawlah, Qasim Bin Saleh al-Dawlah and Bandar al-Sana’ani. He also stated they were all were youth.
The whereabouts of the three injured militants are unknown.
Eleven suspected al-Qaeda militants in Marib province have been killed by four separate American drone strikes in one day. A drone strike missed the target last Saturday, officials and locals said.
The recent drone struck a car carrying three suspected al-Qaeda militants Sunday afternoon in an area called Al Kanais, a Marib deserted area bordering al-Jawf province, said Al-Ghulaisi.
“All three were killed but their identities are not yet known.Four suspected al-Qaeda militants were killed when a U.S. drone struck the militants’ car early Saturday morning in the Shabwan area. According to al-Ghulaisi, one militant was identified as Hamad Bin Hassan Bin Ghuraiyb. Hamad is the brother of Ali Bin Hassan Bin Ghuraiyb, described by a local source as a non-al-Qaeda member who was killed, along with a group of militants, by a U.S. drone strike in August 2012.
“The other three militants could not be identified as the corpses were charred beyond recognition,” said al-Ghulaisi.
Earlier on Saturday night, two U.S. drone struck a car carrying suspected al-Qaeda militants in the area of the Wadi Abeeda district, killing four militants.
“So far we were informed that four al-Qaeda militants were killed by the attack,” said the press office.
Locals confirmed that there were two strikes. The first, launched at 7pm on Saturday evening,missed its target and fell in an area called Al Daleel.
“It’s a populated area but it hurt no one,” said Ra’ed Fadl Abdullah, a local who says he was near the attack site
He said that the second strike hit the militants’ car at the Ghodaiqah area, some eight km away from the first attack. The other three people killed are believed to be militants but could not be identified as the corpses were charred beyond recognition, said al-Ghulaisi, the governor’s press office.
Ra’ed said that one militant was identified as Ismaeel Bin Saeed Bin Jameel. Ismaeel is the brother of Ali Bin Saeed, the then Amir of al-Wadi district who was killed in neighboring Abyan province fighting alongside al-Qaeda. While Ismaeel is considered by locals to be an al-Qaeda militant, Ra’ed said he is not considered as a leading figure. Ismaeel and his brother are said to be from Al Hutaiq family, whose members have been known to have joined al-Qaeda in the past.
“We are not sure that Ismaeel was killed but the car attacked by the drone was Ismaeel’s.” al-Ghulaisi said.
Locals, of whom some are likely to be al-Qaeda militants, have now carried the corpses to the Gatwa graveyard of Al Hutaiq for burial.
The first attack that missed the militants was in a populated area and angered the locals.
“We are anticipating a reaction,” the governor’s press office said, adding that locals will likely block the Marib-Sana’a road to protest the attack.
The U.S. has escalated its drone campaign since 2012 to target suspected militants of Yemen based al-Qaeda, which the U.S. considers the most active of the global militant jihad network.
President Abdu Mansoor Hadi has publicly acknowledged allowing U.S. drone strikes in Yemen. While drone attacks have killed a number of Al-Qaeda militants, many civilians have also been killed in Yemen, including women and children.
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