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US drones kill 10 people in Yemen, Somalia: security sources

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)
A US MQ-9 Reaper drone (File photo)

Two separate attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles have left at least 10 people dead in Yemen and Somalia as US drones continue to claim more civilian lives in Islamic countries.

According to security sources, five people alleged to be suspected members of the al-Qaeda were killed when a US unmanned aerial vehicle carried out a strike in Yemen's central province of Ma'rib.

A security official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Monday that the drone had targeted five Yemenis and "foreigners" in Juba during an attack on a gathering of people "known to belong to al-Qaeda.”

The official declined to elaborate on the nationalities of those killed in the strike.

The Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is perceived as the most active branch of the terrorist group and has been regarded by the Pentagon as the most dangerous offshoot of the global terror network.

Yemen has come under regular US drone strikes, with Washington claiming to be targeting al-Qaeda elements while local sources say civilians have been the main victims.

Yemeni men walk past a building damaged during a Saudi airstrike in Sana’a, November 29, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

The drone strikes in Yemen continue alongside the Saudi military aggression against the impoverished conflict-ridden country.

Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an unsuccessful attempt to reinstate the regime of Yemen's former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The Riyadh regime has, however, failed to reach its goals despite going to great expense. The brutal Saudi aggression has so far claimed the lives of more than 12,000 Yemenis.

The Saudi offensive has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a humanitarian crisis.

The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has exceeded 419,800 while almost 2,000 people have died since the outbreak of the epidemic in April, according to the latest figures provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Drone strike kills Shabab militant in Somalia

In a separate development on Monday, the US military claimed in statement that a member of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militant group had been killed in a drone strike in southern Somalia.

The US Africa Command said the airstrike was carried out two days earlier near Tortoroow, an al-Shabab stronghold in Lower Shabelle region in Somalia’s volatile south.

The airstrike was carried out "as a direct response to al-Shabab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces," the statement said, adding that no civilians were killed.

The Takfiri militant group killed 39 members of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in clashes that erupted early on Sunday in Bulamareer district in Lower Shabelle, about 140 kilometers southwest of the capital Mogadishu.

The file photo shows members of Somalia’s al-Shabab militant group at a village in Lower Shabelle region. (Photo by AFP)

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

The Takfiri militant group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.

The extremist group is just one of the challenges facing the new Somali government, which is still struggling to expand its authority beyond the capital and other selected areas.

The US carries out drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.

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