UK & World News

  • 20 April 2014, 17:58

Dozens Of 'Al Qaeda Militants' Killed In Yemen

Dozens of suspected al Qaeda militants have been killed in a weekend of air strikes in Yemen.

About 25 died on Sunday when training camps were targeted by drone attacks in a remote mountainous region in the south of the country, reports said.

A defence ministry source was quoted as saying "terrorist elements were planning to target vital civilian and military installations".

Local tribal sources said about 25 bodies had been transferred from the sites of Sunday's attacks to nearby towns.

They said at least three separate strikes had taken place after dawn prayers, all targeting al Qaeda camps.

One official said the militants were among the "leading and dangerous" elements of al Qaeda and were of different nationalities.

On Saturday, a drone strike killed 10 al Qaeda militants and three civilians in central Yemen.

Pictures showed the wreckage of a car after an attack in the province of al Bayda.

It is not known who carried out the raids but the US has admitted in the past using drone strikes in Yemen to target al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The assaults were the latest in an intensified aerial campaign in the impoverished country, where AQAP is based.

They come less than a week after AQAP chief Nasser al Wuhayshi pledged in a rare video appearance to fight Western "crusaders" everywhere.

He addressed a large gathering of fighters in an undisclosed mountainous region of Yemen and vowed to attack the US.

AQAP has been linked to a number of failed attacks on American soil, including plots to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009 and US cargo planes in 2010.

The group has taken advantage of a Yemeni government weakened since a 2011 uprising that forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33 years in power.