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ADEN, Yemen, A mid-ranking commander of Yemen's al-Qaeda branch was killed, in a U.S. drone strike, in the country's troubled southern province of Abyan, a security official said.

The unmanned U.S. plane fired a missile at a running vehicle, carrying al-Qaeda militants, in the al-Wadhei area of Abyan province, late on Saturday night, the security official said.

The source said that, Ibrahim Al-Adani, a local mid-ranking al-Qaeda commander, was killed, along with his two escorts, as the vehicle they were driving in was completely destroyed in the raid.

The U.S. often carries out drone attacks against al-Qaeda terrorists, in the mountainous areas in Shabwa and Abyan provinces, where Yemeni security forces have been fighting militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch, since its emergence eight years ago.

The militant group has yet to make comments on the latest U.S. air strike.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also known locally as "Ansar al-Sharia," emerged in Jan, 2009, has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks against Yemen's army and governmental institutions.

The AQAP and the Daesh-linked militants, take advantage of the security vacuum and the ongoing civil war, to expand their influence and seize more territories in southern Yemen.

Security in Yemen has deteriorated since Mar, 2015, when war broke out between the Shiite Houthi group, supported by former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and government forces, backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition, in support of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.


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