ADEN, Yemen, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Five al-Qaida militants were killed on Sunday morning when a U.S. drone carried out an attack against a terrorist training center in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, a government official told Xinhua.
"The U.S. drone targeted an al-Qaida-held training center in Abyan's mountainous region of Mahfad, killing five militants and injuring three others," the official of Abyan's local government said on condition of anonymity.
Five terrorists, including two al-Qaida's local commander, were confirmed killed in the strike, the official said.
Local residents said anonymously that the U.S. drone fired at least three missiles at a position suspected of being a militant hideout and destroyed vehicles at the scene.
On Saturday, a U.S. drone raid killed 16 al-Qaida militants and five civilians in Yemen's southeastern province of al-Bayda, according to a Yemeni army officer.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot has frequently launched revenge attacks on local targets, military and foreign missions in the impoverished Arab country.
The United States has escalated its drone strikes on suspected al-Qaida targets in Yemen since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February 2012 after a UN-backed deal removed former President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power.
Last month the White House pledged to continue to support the anti-terrorism efforts of Hadi's government that aims to uproot the al-Qaida group in Yemen.
But critics said the drone strikes often violate international law and cause heavy civilian casualties. Last December, a U.S. drone strike mistakenly hit a wedding party in Yemen's southeastern province of al-Bayda, killing 11 Yemeni civilians and wounding another 21.