A U.S. drone strike killed at least four suspected members of al-Qaeda network, in north-east Yemen on Tuesday, a local security official said.

The drone hit the suspects, while they were travelling on a road between Marib and al-Jawf provinces, north-east of the capital Sanaa, the official said, on condition of anonymity, providing no further details.

The area between the two provinces have witnessed fierce civil war between forces loyal to Saudi-backed exiled government and militants, run by dominant Houthi group and its allies of forces, loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

It was the latest in a series of almost monthly drone strikes against al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen.

The United States have been flying drones over Yemen since 2000, killing hundreds of Yemen-based al-Qaeda suspects.

However, al-Qaeda operators have since reportedly increased in number, with public presence and control of many small towns in several major southern and south-eastern Yemeni provinces.

They have recently exploited the security vacuum, after the country's army and security forces split apart, and were involved in civil war against northern Shiite Houthi rebels, who overthrew the central government in 2014.


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