Drone strikes kill 3 Qaeda men in north Yemen
30 October, 2012
SANAA: Suspected US drone strikes killed three al Qaeda terrorists on Sunday in the northern Yemeni province of Saada in the first such raid there against the terrorist network, tribal sources told AFP.
"Three al Qaeda suspects were killed in three separate drone strikes in Saada," a tribal source said, adding the raids targeted Wadi al-Abu Jabara, an al Qaeda bastion some 250 kilometres north of the Yemeni capital.
A second tribal source confirmed the toll, saying Sunday's strike "was the first by a US drone in the northern Saada province".
The United States is the only country that operates drones in the region.
Saada Governor Sheikh Fares Manaa confirmed on the Defence Ministry's website that "three members of al Qaeda were killed in an air raid" in Wadi al-Abu Jabara.
He said the dead men were two Saudis and a Yemeni.
"The two Saudis gave money to al Qaeda to finance terrorist operations" in Yemen, he said, adding that a local leader of the terrorist network, Omar Saleh al-Tiss, was seriously wounded in a raid on the way to his son's wedding.
The governor did not identify who carried out the strikes.
A local official said one of the strikes took place at around 10am, as people were arriving for the wedding.
Yemen's mountainous north is a stronghold of the Huthis, Shia Zaidi rebels who in recent weeks have denounced the presence of "unmanned drones" flying over their territory, according to the tribal sources.
Since 2004, the Huthis fought six wars with the central government before signing a truce in February 2010.
Sunday's drone strikes were the fourth in Yemen this month.
On October 21, four al Qaeda members, including a local chief, were killed in a suspected US drone strike on their vehicle in the eastern Maarib province.
Four days earlier, rockets fired from a drone near Jaar in the southern Abyan province killed at least seven suspected al Qaeda operatives.
And on October 4, a drone strike blasted two cars carrying al Qaeda gunmen in the south, killing five of them.