Drone attack targeting al-Qaida in Yemen kills three


A drone attack on two public buildings controlled by al-Qaida militants in south Yemen killed three people on Monday, a local official said.

The dawn attack also badly damaged the offices of public water and telecommunications utilities in Huta, capital of Lahij province, the official added.

No details about the three victims were immediately available.

Witnesses said two drones overflew Huta both before and after the attack.

The drone strike came a day after a soldier and a civilian were killed in a suicide car bombing in Huta that a Yemeni military source said targeted an armored vehicle of the Emirati armed forces.

The United Arab Emirates has lost more than 70 soldiers in Yemen since the Saudi-led Arab coalition last March launched a military campaign in support of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognized government.

Lahij is one of five provinces retaken from Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels last summer by pro-government forces, but security problems persist.

Since the coalition intervened in Yemen, Sunni jihadis of al-Qaida and also the Islamic State group have exploited the chaos created by the conflict to strengthen their positions in the south.

Al-Qaida has been well-established for years in south Yemen, but now faces competition from Islamic State, which has mounted a series of deadly attacks, particularly in Aden, temporary capital of the internationally recognised government.

The United Nations says more than 6,100 people have been killed and 29,000 wounded in Yemen’s conflict since the coalition began its raids, about half of them civilians.