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US strike in Yemen kills five al-Qaeda members: Officials

AQAP remains threat to Middle East and US, US military spokesperson says
Drones have been used in US efforts as AQAP and IS have exploited instability amid Yemen's civil war (AFP)

Five al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members were killed in a US air strike in Yemen last week, officials said on Wednesday.

The 21 October strike occurred in a remote area of Marib Governorate in war-torn Yemen, the US military's Central Command said in a statement.

AQAP "remains a significant threat to the region and to the United States," CENTCOM spokesman Army Major Josh Jacques said.

The militants’ "presence has a destabilising effect on Yemen, and we are working to deny them a haven from which to plan future attacks".

The suspected AQAP members' names were not released.

AQAP and the Islamic State (IS) group have exploited a power vacuum created by a conflict between the government and Houthi rebels to expand their presence in Yemen, especially in the south and southeast.

US operations against AQAP in Yemen are separate from a Saudi-led coalition campaign against the Houthis.

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