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US drone strikes kill nine people in Yemen

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows a US MQ-9 Reaper drone firing a Hellfire missile.

At least nine people have been killed in two separate US drone strikes in Yemen’s southwestern and northern provinces of Hadhramaut and Jawf.

In one of the strikes, the drone fired three missiles at a gathering of suspected al-Qaeda militants in Riyan Airport of Hadhramaut’s provincial capital city of al-Mukalla, located about 800 kilometers (497 miles) southeast of the capital, Sana’a, on Saturday, leaving five people dead, Arabic-language al-Bawaba news website reported.

Reports say militants have reportedly been holed up in the airport for months.

The development came hours after another remote-controlled US aircraft targeted four suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants as they were travelling in a car in the province of Jawf, killing all of them.

On September 9, a similar attack killed at least four suspected al-Qaeda militants in the southern port city of Mualla.

Al-Qaeda militants have stepped up their activities amid Saudi Arabia’s relentless military aggression against Yemen and the ongoing conflict between the Houthi Ansarullah fighters and militants loyal to Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

A Yemeni man stands amid the ruins of buildings destroyed in a Saudi airstrike in the capital, Sana’a, on September 10, 2015. ©AFP 

Washington has been conducting targeted killings through the remotely-controlled armed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

The US says the airstrikes target members of al-Qaeda and other militants, but according to local officials and witnesses, civilians have in most cases been the victims of the attacks.

The United Nations says the US drone attacks are “targeted killings” that flout international law.

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