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Yemen: Drone kills al-Qaeda suspects, war toll now 10,000

More than 10,000 have now died in Yemen's 18-month civil war [AFP]

Date of publication: 30 August, 2016

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A new US drone strike has reportedly killed al-Qaeda suspects in southern Yemen, as UN says death toll in the war now surpassed 10,000.

A presumed US drone strike in southern Yemen killed an al-Qaeda suspect and wounded two more on Tuesday, a security official said.

The strike hit a vehicle carrying the three extremists in the eastern suburbs of Ataq, the capital of Shabwa province, the source said.

The United States has carried out numerous drone strikes against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives in Yemen.

American officials said this month that the US military had killed three AQAP fighters in a strike, also in Shabwa.

On Wednesday, drone strikes killed seven a-Qaeda suspects in south and east Yemen.

AQAP and Islamic State have exploited a power vacuum created by the conflict between the government and Iran-backed rebels to expand their presence in the Arabian Peninsula country.

The US has vowed to continue its campaign against AQAP, which it considers to be the al-Qaeda network's deadliest franchise.

A Saudi-led Arab military coalition that backs the Yemeni government has also turned its sights on AQAP, targeting it with air strikes.

The coalition is supporting pro-government forces which launched an offensive this year to retake several towns from AQAP.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Yemen's civil war has reached 10,000, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator said on Tuesday, an increase from estimates of more than 6,000 cited by officials and aid workers for much of 2016.

Jamie McGoldrick told a new conference in the Yemeni capital that the figure was based on official information provided by medical sources in Yemen.

He said he believed the toll might be even higher since some areas had no medical facilities, and relatives there often buried loved ones directly.

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