Two suspected members of Yemen’s Al-Qaeda were killed today in an air raid on the southern Hadramawt province, a security official said. The two, going by the names Abu Jandal al-Hadrami and Abu Hashim al-Sharuri, were killed in what appeared to be a US air strike, the official said, requesting that his name be withheld. The United States has conducted more than 40 air raids, including drone strikes, against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in March alone.
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Many of the strikes have targeted towns in southern provinces where the radical group is known to operate. At least 25 suspected AQAP members have been killed in the raids. The United States regards AQAP as the jihadist network’s most dangerous branch. However, Washington rarely reports on its drone raids on Yemen, which began in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
More than two years of civil war between government forces and Shiite rebels in Yemen have created a power vacuum which AQAP has exploited to consolidate its presence in the south and east. At least 7,400 people have been killed and 40,000 wounded over the past two years, according to the United Nations. Hadramawt, Yemen’s largest governorate, is currently under government control. AQAP continues to hold limited sway in the province.