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'Drone strike' kills al Qaida men

Four leading members of Yemen's al Qaida branch have been killed in a suspected US drone strike in an eastern province, according to Islamic militant websites.

The four died in Yemen's southern port of Mukalla on the Arabian Sea as rockets believed to have been fired by US drones hit militants based in the presidential residence, security officials said.

The militant Aamaq outlet, affiliated with the Islamic State group - an al Qaida rival - said the four included Maamoun Hatem, reportedly an IS sympathiser.

The three other militants were identified as Abu Anwar al-Kutheiri, Mohammed Saleh al-Gharabi and Mabkhout Waqash al-Sayeri.

The compound in Mukalla was recently captured by al Qaida's branch in Yemen, viewed by the US as the terror group's most dangerous affiliate.

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