Three killed by U.S. drone strike in Yemen

Published June 14th, 2014 - 01:25 GMT

At least three people have been killed in a U.S. assassination drone strike in southern Yemen.

Local officials said on Saturday that the attack was carried out late Friday when a drone targeted a vehicle in the Mafraq al-Saeed area of the Shabwa Province.

They told Reuters that the victims were “al-Qaeda militants.”

On June 4, a U.S. assassination drone killed at least three people in the impoverished country.

Yemen is widely reported by Western media outlets to be the key stronghold of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Washington acknowledges using assassination drones as part of its official targeted killing campaign in Muslim countries to eliminate what it regards as militants. However, it does not comment publicly on individual cases of the aerial bombing campaign.

The U.S. administration claims that its assassination drones target al-Qaeda militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the non-UN-sanctioned airstrikes.

Last October, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the U.S. drone strikes in Yemen had led to the death of many civilians over the past years in a blatant violation of international law.

In February, the rights group called on Washington to investigate a fatal drone strike on a wedding ceremony in Yemen in December, 2013. The HRW said in a report, dubbed “A Wedding That Became a Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen,” that the December 12, 2013 attack killed a dozen men and wounded at least 15 others, including the bride.

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