ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Five operatives of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch were killed when a U.S. drone strike targeted their vehicle in Yemen's central province of al-Bayda on Tuesday, a military official told Xinhua.
The military source confirmed that missiles fired from the unmanned U.S. aircraft destroyed a vehicle carrying al-Qaida operatives in the mountains of Radaa area in central al-Bayda province.
The military source said that "the slain al-Qaida men were apparently traveling from Marib province and heading to meet their comrades in the al-Bayda province."
Scores of the al-Qaida gunmen launched numerous armed attacks against positions of army troops loyal to the Shiite Houthi group in al-Bayda province in the past few days, according to the Yemeni source.
On Tuesday, the United States announced that its military killed 13 al-Qaida militants in three separate strikes in Yemen in recent weeks, but it did not specify how the strikes were conducted or reveal the identities of the militants targeted.
The U.S. drones have been active over skies of Yemeni cities since years ago, launching hundreds of air strikes that killed scores of al-Qaida leaders and many other extremists.
Yemen has recently seen a growing number of al-Qaida activities in eastern and southern provinces, due to the prolonged security vacuum resulting from the 19-month civil war between the exiled government and Houthi rebels who seized much of the country's north, including capital Sanaa since 2014.
The military conflict has left more than 6,400 dead, according to the UN, displaced thousands and left the country's civilians facing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.