Drone strike kills 4 `Qaeda` in Yemen: Security

 A drone strike on a vehicle in southern Yemen Thursday killed four suspected members of Al-Qaeda, a security official said.

Aden: A drone strike on a vehicle in southern Yemen Thursday killed four suspected members of Al-Qaeda, a security official said.

The drone struck near Nissab, west of the Shabwa provincial capital of Ataq, the official said, with a tribal source adding that the charred bodies of four men were seen inside the vehicle.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been linked to a number of failed terror plots against the United States. Washington operates drones over Yemen, but US officials rarely acknowledge the covert programme.

Rights groups have criticised the drone programme in Yemen and other countries, repeatedly urging the United States to investigate strikes in which civilians have been killed.

President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and the US government have defended the use of drones, saying they enable the targeting of jihadists without sending soldiers into lawless areas where the authorities have little or no control.

AQAP, considered by Washington as Al-Qaeda`s most dangerous affiliate, is active across several parts of Yemen, taking advantage of a collapse of central authority during a 2011 uprising that ousted veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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