The U.S. military said Friday that its airstrikes had killed five al-Qaida militants in central Yemen.

A Central Command statement said the strikes, which took place November 20 in Bayda province, had killed Mujahid al-Adani, an al-Qaida leader, and four associates.

It said al-Adani was responsible for planning and conducting terrorist attacks against Yemeni and coalition forces. The statement said he had a significant influence in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, including close ties to other senior leaders.

Yemen is in the midst of nearly three years of civil war, which has given militant groups, including al-Qaida and Islamic State affiliates, an opportunity to expand their operations.

The conflict has left 10,000 people dead and millions in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

Earlier this week, former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by Iran-backed rebel Houthis, his uneasy allies-turned-foes. The killing plunged the country into further violence, prompting some of the fiercest fighting since the start of the conflict in 2014.

Source: Voice of America

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