File:MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft.jpg

A Predator drone in US Air Force base in 2011′s summer.

Author US Air Force    http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/081131-F-7734Q-001.jpg

Image Source Wikimedia. Org

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U.S. Drone Strike Hits Convoy Headed To Wedding Party In Yemen, Killing At Least 13, Officials Say

Posted: 12/12/2013 1:47 pm EST  |  Updated: 12/13/2013 5:33 pm EST

The Associated Press reports Yemeni officials have said a U.S. drone strike hit a convoy headed to a wedding party:

According to the report, at least 13 people were killed in the targeted strike.

Reuters quotes Yemeni security officials as saying the wedding party was targeted after it “was mistaken for an al-Qaeda convoy.” Additionally, the news outlet cites 15 deaths, with another five people injured in the attack.

“An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” one security official said.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is believed to be among the most active wings of the terrorist organization. In response to the militant group’s increased activity, the U.S. has ramped up its use of drone strikes in Yemen since 2011.

More from the Associated Press:

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Missiles fired by a U.S. drone slammed into a convoy of vehicles traveling to a wedding party in central Yemen on Thursday, killing at least 13 people, Yemeni security officials said.

The officials said the attack took place in the city of Radda, the capital of Bayda province, and left charred bodies and burnt out cars on the road. The city, a stronghold of al-Qaida militants, witnessed deadly clashes early last year between armed tribesmen backed by the military and al-Qaida gunmen in an attempt to drive them out of the city.

There were no immediate details on who was killed in the strike, and there were conflicting reports about whether there were militants traveling with the wedding convoy.

A military official said initial information indicated the drone mistook the wedding party for an al-Qaida convoy. He said tribesmen known to the villagers were among the dead.

One of the three security officials, however, said al-Qaida militants were suspected to have been traveling with the wedding convoy.

While the U.S. acknowledges its drone program in Yemen, it does not usually talk about individual strikes.

If further investigations determine that the victims were all civilians, the attack could fuel an outburst of anger against the United States and the government in Sanaa among a Yemeni public already opposed to the U.S. drone strikes.

 

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Air strike kills 15 civilians in Yemen by mistake: officials

 

SANAA Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:34pm EST

 

 

 

(Reuters) – Fifteen people on their way to a wedding in Yemen were killed in an air strike after their party was mistaken for an al Qaeda convoy, local security officials said on Thursday.

The officials did not identify the plane in the strike in central al-Bayda province, but tribal and local media sources said that it was a drone.

“An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” one security official said.

Five more people were injured, the officials said.

The United States has stepped up drone strikes as part of a campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded by Washington as the most active wing of the militant network.

 

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National flag of Yemen

Officials report 15 wedding guests in the Yemen province of al-Bayda were hit by an air strike, believed to be a US drone. Photograph: Malcolm Harris / Alamy/Alamy

Fifteen people on their way to a wedding in Yemen were killed in an air strike after their party was mistaken for an al-Qaida convoy, local security officials said on Thursday.

The officials did not identify the plane in the strike in central al-Bayda province, but tribal and local media sources said that it was a drone.

“An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, 10 people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” one security official said.

Five more people were injured, the officials said.

The United States has stepped up drone strikes as part of a campaign against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded by Washington as the most active wing of the militant network.

Yemen, AQAP’s main stronghold, is among a handful of countries where the United States acknowledges using drones, although it does not comment on the practice.

Human Rights Watch said in a detailed report in August that US missile strikes, including armed drone attacks, have killed dozens of civilians in Yemen.

 

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