A drone strike killed at least four alleged Al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen on Monday, tribal sources said, the third such attack in a week after Washington vowed to continue it’s campaign against the armed group in the volatile Gulf country.
The unmanned aircraft targeted a car carrying "at least four" suspects in Baida province, the sources told Agence France-Presse. They added that the bodies inside the car were left charred.
AFP could not immediately verify the identities of those killed in Monday's attack.
Since President Barack Obama vowed on Jan. 25 to not let up Washington’s campaign against Al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen, three drone strikes have targeted suspected members of the group.
An attack on Jan. 26 killed three people, including Mohammed Toayman, a sixth grader said to be between the ages of 12 and 15, whose father and brother were killed in a 2011 drone strike. Another attack on Jan. 31 killed four people.
The strike that killed Toayman was the first since Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last month.
U.S. officials insist that Toayman and the two other men killed were Al-Qaeda operatives of “fighting age” — a disputed standard for counting civilian casualties because it regards all military-age males as combatants, according to ProPublica, a nonprofit news source.
Civilian deaths during drone operations have raised concerns among human rights workers that U.S. drone strikes are radicalizing the families of the people they kill, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
According to the New America Foundation, the United States has carried out more than 110 strikes on targets in Yemen since 2009, mostly using drones.
Al Jazeera and Agence France-Presse