ADEN, Yemen, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Four members of the the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch were killed by a U.S. drone strike in the province of Hadramout on Tuesday, a local security official told Xinhua.
"A pilotless plane of the U.S. Air Forces conducted a strike on a moving vehicle in Albar desert of Hadramout province, killing four members of al-Qaida network and destroying their vehicle," the source said on condition of anonymity.
The initial information confirmed that four wanted terrorists died but their identities were not available, the source added.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida network mostly operating in eastern and southern provinces, has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against security forces in the country.
The militant network has yet to make comments about the U.S. airstrike conducted against its fighters in Hadramout.
The U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters in different provinces of the war-torn Arab country since U.S President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group.
That included intensified overnight airstrikes and ground military raids against the al-Qaida hideouts in the mountainous areas of al-Bayda and southeastern province of Shabwa.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, seen by the United States as the global terror network's most dangerous branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen's government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in southeastern provinces.
Yemen's government, allied with a Saudi-led Arab military coalition, has for years been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels for control of the impoverished country.
UN statistics showed that more than 8,000 people have been killed in Yemen's conflict, most of them civilians, since the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in 2015.
The impoverished Arab country is also suffering the world's largest cholera outbreak, where about 5,000 cases are reported every day.