A U.S. drone strike killed five al-Qaida-linked militants in southern Yemen on Wednesday, Yemeni officials said.An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity according to military rules, said the dawn strike targeted militant hideouts in the al-Arqoub area east of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province. Islamic radicals seized control of Zinjibar in May, taking advantage of a wider uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh to establish a militant-ruled enclave.
Government forces and mutinous military units who oppose each other but consider al-Qaida the greater enemy have fought their way back into the city, but continue to suffer casualties to militant attacks.
U.S. drones regularly hit targets in Yemen. American-born al-Qaida propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a drone on Sept. 30 in the north of the country in what American officials said was a major blow to the militant organization.