A US air strike on an Al-Qaeda training camp in southeastern Yemen killed at least 40 militants, a provincial official and a tribal source said on Wednesday.
Another 25 militants were wounded in the Tuesday strike on the camp in Hajr, west of the Hadramawt provincial capital Mukalla, the provincial official told AFP.
The Pentagon had spoken of “dozens” of Al Qaeda fighters “removed from the battlefield” in the latest US strike against the militants’ Yemen-based branch, regarded by Washington as the most dangerous.
A tribal source confirmed the toll, saying “the dead and wounded were new Al Qaeda recruits” training at the camp, adding that “other fighters survived the strike.”
Fearing further strikes, Al Qaeda militants evacuated public buildings they had occupied in Mukalla, and deployed five military vehicles around a hospital in the city where the wounded militants were taken.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has controlled Mukalla and much of Hadramawt province since April last year.
The militants have taken advantage of a Saudi-led military intervention against their rebel foes, who control the capital and much of northern Yemen, to seize territory in the south.