7 Qaeda members killed in Yemen drone strikes

The coalition said that on Monday, it had "destroyed several buildings" used by IS fighters to "launch attacks against Syrian Democratic Force partners" in the village of Sousa (AFP Photo/HO)

Aden (AFP) - Seven suspected Al-Qaeda members have been killed in drone strikes in central Yemen that were probably carried out by US forces, security sources said on Sunday.

A security official, asking not to be identified, said three "armed fighters of Al-Qaeda" died when their vehicle was struck on Saturday in the Sawmaa region of Al-Bayda province.

Another drone strike on Saturday in the same region killed three suspected jihadists who were riding a motorcycle, and on Friday a drone strike killed a local military instructor for Al-Qaeda in the same province, another security source said.

The United States, which considers the extremist group's Yemen-based franchise, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to be its most dangerous, is the only force operating drones over Yemen.

But it only sporadically reports on a long-running bombing campaign against AQAP.

Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State jihadist group have exploited a power vacuum created by the two-year-old conflict in Yemen between the government and Shiite Huthi rebels, especially in the country's south and southeast.