Three people have been killed in a US assassination drone strike in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwah.
A local official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the unmanned aerial vehicle fired a missile at a car in the provincial capital city of Ataq, located some 570 kilometers southeast of the capital, Sana’a, on Tuesday afternoon.
He added that all of the passengers of the vehicle were killed, claiming that they were suspected members of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The development came only a day after four people were killed in a similar aerial attack in Yemen’s southeastern port city of Mukalla, situated some 900 kilometers (559 miles) southeast of Sana’a.
The US carries out airstrikes through assassination drones in Yemen and several other Muslim countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan. Washington claims the drones target al-Qaeda militants but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the airstrikes.
The United Nations and several human rights organizations have identified the US as the world’s number-one user of “targeted killings.”
The US drone strikes in Yemen have led to the deaths of many civilians over the past few years in a blatant violation of international law, according to Human Rights Watch.
The latest US drone strikes in Yemen come as Saudi Arabia launched a military aggression against the impoverished country on March 26. The Saudi attack, which have no UN mandate, were launched in a bid to restore power to the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
According to the latest UN figures, the Saudi military campaign has so far claimed the lives of over 1,400 people and injured close to 6,000, roughly half of whom have been civilians.
Also on Monday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that at least 182 civilians, including 41 women and 51 children, died in the ongoing crisis in Yemen from May 4 to May 10.
“A significant proportion of the casualties over this most recent six-day period – around half – were reportedly caused by airstrikes, especially in Sa’ada Governorate,” OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said.
A five-day halt to the Saudi military campaign against Yemen kicked off at 11 p.m. local time (2000 GMT) on Tuesday.
However, Saudi Arabia violated the ceasefire in war-torn Yemen just minutes after it was put in place in the impoverished Arab country by carrying out four raids in southwestern Lahij Province, eastern Hajjah Province and northwestern Sa’ada Province late on Tuesday.