Officials: US drones kill over a dozen suspected militants in Yemen


Al Qaeda loyalists in the town of Jaar, in Yemen's southern Abyan province, on Jan. 25, 2012.



Security officials said a US drone targeted an al-Qaeda training site in southern Yemen on Wednesday, killing at least 13 believed militants, CNN reported

The US has not commented on the incident, according to a report by the Associated Press that cited 15 suspected militants killed.  

US drone strikes in Yemen have dramatically increased in response to heightened radical militant activity in the region. American officials believe the Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda is one of the most dangerous, said AP

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Wednesday's strike comes as part of a two-week operation targeting extremist strongholds in Yemen's restive Abyan province, officials told CNN

The attack hit the militant-held city of Jaar in coordination with an assault led by the Yemeni military, said AP.

Yemeni officials said US drone strikes are also expected to hit the Lowder and Zinjibar areas in coming weeks, reported CNN, quoting an unidentified Yemeni presidential aide as saying the country's leaders are also "giving the green light" to the US attacks.

Al-Qaeda-linked militants took over much of the country's south, taking advantage of a political crisis triggered by a popular uprising against the government last year.

Yemen's new President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi recently launched an ambitious military campaign to oust them from the region.