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Drone kills militants in Yemen

A suspected US drone strike has targeted a car carrying al Qaida militants in southern Yemen, killing all five passengers, security officials said.

The attack took place in a mountainous area in al-Saied in southern Shabwa province.

One of those killed in the attack was a suspected al Qaida leader named Musaad al-Habashi, the officials said.

The US considers Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to be the group's most dangerous branch world and has linked it to a number of botched or foiled attacks on the US homeland.

The US, which trains Yemen's counter-terrorism forces, has launched more than 100 drone strikes against suspected al Qaida targets in the impoverished country since 2002, according to the New America Foundation, a non-partisan public policy institute.

The militant group overran large swaths of territory in southern Yemen in 2011, taking advantage of political turmoil that forced long-time leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

The Yemeni military has since pushed back, and over the past few weeks has stepped up an offensive to rout the fighters from their strongholds. Militants have also increased their attacks against troops and government officials.

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