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US drone strike kills three in southern Yemen: Witnesses

Drone attack targets vehicle in Yemen's southern Shabwah province, killing three alleged militants, locals say
Critics of US drone strikes fear the attacks may radicalise the families of the people they kill

SHABWAH, Yemen - Three people were killed Friday in a drone strike on southern Yemen, local residents say.

A US drone struck a vehicle in the city of al-Houta in the southern province of Shabwah, killing the car's three passengers, allegedly militants, eyewitnesses told the Anadolu Agency.

According to rights groups, dozens of suspected al-Qaeda operatives – along with a number of civilians – have been killed by US drone strikes in recent weeks.

On 31 January, a drone struck a vehicle in the remote town of al-Saeed in Shabwah, and residents told Reuters the dead men were al-Qaeda militants.

Another deadly drone attack came on 26 January, killing a sixth-grader along with two suspected militants.

The Yemeni government says al-Qaeda remains active in several parts of the country's south, from which, the government says, it stages sporadic attacks on security personnel.

Critics of the US use of drones fear the attacks may radicalise the families of the people they kill.

Yemen has been dogged by turmoil since pro-democracy protests forced autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in 2012 after 33 years in power.