Xinhua) -- A U.S. drone strike killed at least five members of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot in the southern province of Abyan on Saturday, a government official told Xinhua.
"About five terrorists were killed when a drone strike targeted an al-Qaida convoy that was passing through a desert road in the town of Jaar in Abyan province," the government source said on condition of anonymity.
Local residents near the scene confirmed to Xinhua, saying that "vehicles of the al-Qaida terrorist group were struck by three rockets. Several people were either killed or injured in the bombing."
Dozens of al-Qaida members have been killed in such airstrikes since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February 2012, after a year-long unrest weakened the control of the central government and allowed the militants to take over swaths of territory in the south.
The Yemeni government managed to recapture several of southern cities in May 2012.
But on Jan. 23, a U.S. drone strike targeting armed militants mistakenly hit a house of civilians in Yemen's southeastern province of al-Bayda, killing two children, according to Yemeni officials.