ADEN, Yemen, July 6 (Xinhua) -- At least seven militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch were killed in an airstrike launched by a U.S. drone in the southeastern province of Shabwa on Friday, a security official told Xinhua.
The unmanned aircraft of the U.S. forces struck a traveling car carrying al-Qaida militants in Bayhan district of Shabwa province, killing about seven terrorist elements, the local security source said on condition of anonymity.
The drone attack took place in cooperation with local Yemeni intelligence officials who provided adequate information about the militants' activities in Shabwa, the source said.
He added that initial reports indicate that all the killed were active elements of al-Qaida and engaged in armed attacks against newly-recruited troops backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) network, mostly operating in eastern and southern provinces, has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against security forces Yemen.
The AQAP, seen by the United States as al-Qaida'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.
The U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against AQAP fighters in different provinces of the war-torn Arab country since U.S. President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group.