Reuters reports: “U.S. drone strikes killed at least eight suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen on Thursday, bringing the number of people killed by drones in less than two weeks to at least 25.
“The strikes follow Yemen's announcement on Wednesday that it had foiled a plot by al Qaeda to seize two major oil and gas export terminals and a provincial capital in the east of the country.
“Warnings of potential attacks have pushed Washington to shut missions across the Middle East, and the United States and Britain to evacuate staff from Yemen.
“Witnesses and local officials in Maareb, a mostly desert region in the southeast where militants have taken refuge, said a drone fired at two vehicles suspected of carrying al Qaeda militants at dawn, killing six people.
“Residents saw the two vehicles rise in flames and the drone circled the air for a while after the attack.
“Another two were killed in the eastern region of Hadramout, local officials said.
“At least 25 suspected militants have been killed since July 28, when a drone strike killed at least four members of Ansar al-Sharia, a local militant group affiliated to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of the most active branches of the network founded by Osama bin Laden.”