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America bombs Yemen: Fifth night of airstrikes on AQAP

The US launched an anti-AQAP drone campaign in Yemen in 2009 [AFP]

Date of publication: 6 March, 2017

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US air raids in Yemen continued for a fifth consecutive night, a security source said on Monday, as Washington intensifies its campaigns against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

US forces struck suspected al-Qaeda targets in Yemen for a fifth consecutive night, a Yemeni security source said on Monday.

An early dawn raid hit the town of al-Nasl in the southern Abyan province, which has been the target of airstrikes as well as an al-Qaeda attack on the army in recent days, the source said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in Monday's raid.

On Thursday, Washington launched a series of air and drone raids on Yemen, focused on the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa as well as Baida, slightly to the north. 

Meanwhile, gunmen suspected of belonging to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) launched two separate attacks on Yemeni troops in recent days, killing at least 10 soldiers in Abyan and the southern Hadramawt province. 

On Sunday, AQAP evacuated suspected members from more than one area hit by the raids, including one town where top AQAP commander Abdulelah al-Dhahab had reportedly been in hiding. 

The Pentagon has confirmed at least 30 strikes against AQAP since Thursday in coordination with the Yemeni government

Two years of fighting in Yemen has allowed AQAP, which the US regards as the militants' most dangerous branch, to consolidate its grip on territory in southern and eastern Yemen. 

The Pentagon has confirmed at least 30 strikes against AQAP since Thursday in coordination with the Yemeni government.

Washington, which began drone strikes on Yemen after the attacks of September 11, 2001, rarely gives reports on the raids.

Yemen's war pits troops loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Houthi rebels allied with forces supporting former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

In March 2015, a Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in the fighting on behalf of Hadi, launching air strikes against the Houthis. 

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the two years since and another 40,000 wounded. 

 

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