SANAA, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. drone strike hit a group of people driving a car in Yemen's central province of Marib on Thursday night, killing at least four people and injuring several others, a Yemeni interior ministry official told Xinhua.
"Four people were killed in the U.S. drone strike which took place on Thursday night in coordination with the Yemeni interior ministry," the official told Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity. He said the targets included an al-Qaida suspect.
He said that about seven others were seriously injured in the attack, which hit the suspects' vehicle in Wadi Abida in Marib province, some 173 km northeast of Sanaa.
The Yemeni interior ministry issued a statement after the attack, saying it foiled an attempt by al-Qaida militants to seize some government institutions in Marib province. No further details were given by the ministry's statement which was obtained by Xinhua.
It was the second U.S. drone strike since the beginning of this year after unmanned plane killed two suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout on Jan. 8.
The United States has escalated its drone strikes on the al- Qaida network in Yemen since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February 2012 after a UN-backed power transfer deal removed former President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot frequently launched revenge attacks on local targets, the military and foreign missions in the country.
On Dec. 5, 12 al-Qaida militants attacked the Yemeni defense ministry, killing over 56 people and injuring more than 200 others.