Drone strike in Abyan kills four alleged Al-Qaeda affiliates
Rumors have surfaced that prominent Al-Qaeda leader Jalal Bl’eed was killed in the attack.
“We don’t have sufficient information to either assert or deny Bl’eed’s death,” said Almahfd district’s Security Chief Colonel Ahmed Al-Rab’i.
Al-Khader Abdulla, a leader of a local Popular Committee— a group of civilian fighters who back state military— said Bl’eed’s relatives have denied his death in the attack.
After being drive out of Al-Qaeda strong holds in the Zinjibar, Jaar and Shuqra areas in Abyan last year, members of the terror group have found pocketed havens in several surrounding mountainous areas including the Almahfd district.
According to a report issued by the Yemeni Hood Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, there were 81 American-backed drone strikes in 2012.
The use of drones have been criticized both domestically and internationally by human rights activists who condemn civilian deaths caused by drones and say the strikes are a violation of Yemen’s sovereignty.