Update: A senior US official tells Barbara Starr that the strike was carried out by a mix of drones and manned aircraft under the control of the Defense Department and not the CIA. Both drones and manned aircraft shot at the target. The post attack assessment is still ongoing and a determination is to be made on how many people, and whom was killed. A second US official calls the attack “very complex.”
By Hakim Almasmari, For CNN
Three suspected drone strikes hit militant targets in southern Yemen on Monday night and Tuesday morning, killing at least nine people with suspected links to al Qaeda, security officials said.
The missiles struck Abyan province near areas that have been taken over by Ansaar al-Sharia, a militant group with links to al Qaeda, three security officials officials said.
The militant group took over large parts of Abyan province in May after government forces evacuated a number of security posts and military bases. The group announced Abyan as an Islamic emirate and is calling for the implementation of Sharia law.
Hundreds of troops and militant fighters have been killed in the government's efforts to clear the province from the hands of the militants, according to Yemen's defense ministry.
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