SANAA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. drone strike targeted a group of al-Qaida militants on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday night, killing at least three terrorists, government officials said.
"Three terrorists, including local al-Qaida commander Adnan al- Qathi who is wanted for bombing the U.S. embassy in Sanaa in late 2008, were confirmed killed Wednesday night in a Yemeni-U.S. joint airstrike operation which targeted the militants' vehicle near Sayyan village outside the capital Sanaa," a local security official told Xinhua by phone. He declined to provide further details.
An official from Al-Daylami Air Force Base in Sanaa confirmed the airstrike on Wednesday night in a remote area about 40 km southeast of Sanaa, but said "the raid was not carried out by any Yemeni warplane."
A Sanaa-based expert of Islamic group affairs, Abdulrazzak al- Jamal, told Xinhua that "local al-Qaida operative Adnan al-Qathi was killed along with two of his bodyguards, Rabiee Lahib and Radwan al-Hashidi, by a missile fired from a U.S. unmanned plane late on Wednesday."
"The drone was seen roving on the Sayyan area during the past three days according to several residents I talked with them upon the airstrike," al-Jamal said. "I spoke to a member of al-Qadhi's family who confirmed his death along with two of his bodyguards," al-Jamal added.
The fresh airstrike was the fifth air raid by the U.S. drones on the Yemen-based al-Qaida targets in less than a month, in which 23 members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), including the group's senior commander Adel al-Abab, were confirmed killed.
The United States has escalated its drone strikes since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February, as part of the anti-terror cooperation to help crush the resurgent militants who had taken advantage of Yemen's political upheaval last year.