Aden, Mar 9 (AFP) A suspected Al-Qaeda member died today in a drone strike on a region of Yemen hit by multiple US air raids over the past week, a security source said.

The drone targeted Qassem Khalil, an Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militant, near the town of Wadia in the southern province of Abyan, the source said.

Since March 2, the US has launched dozens of strikes against AQAP targets in Abyan and the neighbouring provinces of Shabwa and Baida as it steps up its air war against the jihadists.

In the first three days of the strikes at least 22 suspected AQAP fighters were killed, security officials and tribal sources have said.

More than two years of civil war between government forces and Shiite rebels who control the capital have created a power vacuum which AQAP has exploited to consolidate its presence in the south and east.

Washington regards AQAP as the jihadist network’s most dangerous arm and says that in recent months it has been plotting attacks on the West. (AFP)

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.