ADEN, Yemen, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- An unmanned U.S. aircraft fired missiles at a vehicle in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout on Friday, killing eight suspected al-Qaida militants, a security official said.
Two missiles launched from a U.S. drone struck a vehicle carrying suspected al-Qaida militants in a desert region in Hadramout province, killing at least eight of its passengers at the scene, the local security official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The eight suspected al-Qaida militants who were killed were believed to be local commanders of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot, the official said.
Friday's strike was the third drone attack in southeastern Yemen within three days.
The United States has beefed up anti-terror cooperation with the Yemeni government since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February, after a year of political upheaval that allowed al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to capture several cities in the south.
The militants were recently either captured or hunted by the security authorities after a U.S.-backed offensive in the southern Abyan province three months ago routing the militants out of their strongholds that they had controlled for nearly a year.
Combating al-Qaida network in the restive south is one of the challenges confronting Hadi, who has promised to reform the army, restore security and uproot the resurgent branch of al-Qaida, locally known as Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law).