Blast, Drones Kill At Least 16 In Yemen
At least 16 suspected al Qaeda operatives were killed by an explosion and suspected drone strikes over the weekend.
Three people were killed by a suspected US drone strike on Saturday and another three were killed Sunday by the same method.
At least 10 were thought dead after the explosion hit a house in south Yemen where the operatives were creating bombs, reports Reuters.
The bomb destroyed the house in al-Bayda province on Saturday night. Yemen is locked in a fight with a powerful al Qaeda branch. The branch grew in power and influence during the aftermath of a popular uprising against the nation’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is considered by the US and other Western governments as the most active branch of the terrorist organization.
An official in the area of the house destroyed by an explosion stated that it was frequently used for making bombs. It is likely that an error was made in the bomb-making process, causing the explosion.
The Huffington Post notes that the house was owned by Ahmed Abdullah Deif-Allah Al-Zahab, a known al Qaeda operative. Militants linked to the terrorist organization prevented residents from approaching the scene on Sunday. An official stated of the blast:
“We heard a massive explosion that terrified people and when we went to the house it was destroyed and everyone there was dead.”
A witness to Saturday’s drone attack stated that the pilotless plane carried out two strikes against a car. The witness recalled, “One of the strikes missed the target and the other hit the car and left the bodies of the three people in it completely charred.”
Drone attacks are not uncommon in Yemen, though the United States doesn’t acknowledge them.