New Yemen drone strike kills four Qaeda suspects

Militants from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have been behind several plots against Western targets (AFP Photo/)

Sanaa (AFP) - A drone strike killed at least four Al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen Monday, tribal sources said, the third attack in a week after Washington vowed to pursue its anti-jihadist campaign there.

The unmanned aircraft, which only the United States operates in the region, targeted a car carrying "at least four" suspects in Baida province, the sources said.

They said the bodies inside the car were left charred.

"Loud explosions were heard after the attack," one source told AFP, saying this could mean the car had been "loaded with arms and explosives".

This was the third such strike since US President Barack Obama on January 25 vowed no let-up in Washington's campaign against jihadists in Yemen.

Four suspected militants were killed in a similar strike on Saturday, while another raid left three alleged Al-Qaeda militants dead on January 26.

Both of those attacks were in the southern province of Shabwa.

Obama had dismissed suggestions that deepening chaos in Yemen since last month's resignation of Western-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi had forced a change in Washington's campaign against Al-Qaeda.

Obama ruled out US troop deployment in Yemen but said Washington would continue "to go after high value targets inside Yemen", admitting however that this was "a long, arduous process".

AFP could not immediately verify the identities of those killed in Monday's raid.

According to the New America Foundation, the United States has carried out more than 110 strikes on targets in Yemen since 2009, mostly using drones.

One such attack in September 2011 killed US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, a leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula accused of instigating a string of attacks against the United States.

AQAP, which Washington considers the most dangerous branch of the global terror network, also claimed responsibility for the deadly January 7 attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.