April 21, 2014
Dozens of suspected al Qaeda fighters have been killed in the latest in a string of strikes against the terror organization’s Yemen affiliate over the weekend, Yemeni officials say, just days after the affiliate released a video of a large daytime militant rally.
A Yemeni official with the Supreme Security Committee told ABC News overnight that on April 19, an American drone strike took out 10 members of al Qaeda but also killed three civilians who were nearby. The civilians “were in a pickup truck that suddenly appeared next to the car that was targeted,” the official said.
The next day the committee announced three additional aerial strikes that “completely destroyed” an al Qaeda training facility. Mohammed Albasha, a spokesperson for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, D.C., tweeted from his personal account this morning that a preliminary assessment of the strikes showed two dozen militants had been killed without any civilian casualties. Later Albasha updated the count to 55 killed, many of them foreign fighters, purportedly including three high value targets. The HVTs, as they are known in counter-terrorism lingo, have not been identified.