ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- At least five militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch were killed when a U.S. drone strike hit their vehicle in the country's central province of al-Bayda on Thursday, a security official told Xinhua.
"The pilotless aircraft hit a vehicle belonging to al-Qaida group, destroying it and killing five terrorists in the mountainous area of Sharqan in al-Bayda province," the security source said on condition of anonymity.
He said that the U.S. airstrike precisely targeted the al-Qaida militants who were moving into their hideouts located in a tribal region.
The strike came just two days after the United States launched a series of airstrikes targeting several hideouts of al-Qaida and the Islamic State (IS) group in al-Bayda province.
In recent months, the U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against al-Qaida militants in different provinces of the war-torn Arab country since U.S. President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the extremist group.
That included intensified overnight airstrikes and ground military raids against the al-Qaida hideouts in the mountainous areas of al-Bayda and southeastern province of Shabwa.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, seen by the United States as the global terror network's most dangerous branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen's government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in southeastern Yemeni provinces.