A suspected US drone killed three people in east Yemen, a local official said, the third strike within 24 hours allegedly targeting al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch.
The three men were travelling in a vehicle in the province of Hadramout in an area called Ghail Bawazeer, 28 miles from the provincial capital Mukalla, when they were targeted by the drone on Thursday night, the official told Reuters.
Residents reported hearing a large explosion and later saw the car destroyed.
The killed were suspected to have been militants, but there is no way to confirm that. US drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan have killed hundreds of civilians over the past few years according to studies.
Yemen said on Wednesday it had foiled a plot by al-Qaeda to seize Mukalla, a port city on the Gulf of Aden, as well as two major oil and gas export terminals.
This announcement came after intelligence on potential attacks by militants prompted Washington to shut missions across the Middle East, and the United States and Britain to evacuate staff from Yemen.
Earlier on Thursday, 14 militants died in two drone strikes in the central Yemeni province of Maarib. At least 28 people have been killed by drones in the past two weeks, a marked increase in the frequency of such strikes.