US drone attacks kill ten in Yemen
Published Sunday, May 13, 2012
Two apparent US drone attacks killed at least 10 people in Yemen on Saturday, while Yemeni government forces killed 15 others in a new offensive against insurgents, local and military officials said.
Two air strikes destroyed three vehicles and killed 10 people in the eastern oil-producing Maarib province and near the border of the southeastern Shabwa province, the Defence Ministry website said, without elaborating.
Yemen and Washington do not acknowledge US drone attacks as they undermine the idea of Yemeni sovereignty.
The government claimed those killed were militants but provided no evidence for this.
Local officials told Reuters the strikes were believed to have been carried out by US drones and up to 12 people were killed, including an Egyptian and two Saudis.
It was the latest in a series of reported drone attacks on militants in the south of the impoverished Arab country who exploited mass protests last year against then-President Ali Abdallah Saleh to seize large swathes of territory, including Zinjibar, the capital of restive Abyan province.
Last week, the US Defense Department said Washington had resumed training Yemeni armed forces, after a suspension during the political upheaval that ousted Saleh.
In a sign of growing lawlessness after more than a year of unrest, Bulgaria's ambassador to Yemen escaped with minor injuries on Saturday after masked gunmen opened fire on his car in the capital and tried to kidnap him, a Western diplomat said.
US officials said this week they had thwarted a plot by the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to arm a suicide bomber with a non-metallic device, an upgraded version of the "underwear bomb" carried onto an airliner on Christmas Day 2009.