"Two al-Qaeda leaders, Saleh al-Awlaki and Saeed Ba-Kadir, were targeted and killed along with five others in two separated US drone strikes in late night of Tuesday," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The strikes were on two cars in different locations. The first car was hit on a road in Atran area, east of Marib's central city, while the other was hit at the same time at a junction linking the areas of Al-Shabwan and Hoson Al-Jalal, also in eastern Marib, said the official. Marib has long been a hub of al-Qaeda activities.
The attacks were the latest in a series of airstrikes carried out by US drones against al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen.
On April 5, a US drone killed two militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch, including Khattab Wuhayshi, the nephew of Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the slain founder of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to a security official.
Yemen, an impoverished Arab country, has been gripped by one of the most active regional al-Qaeda insurgents in the Middle East.
The Yemen-based AQAP has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks against Yemen's army and government institutions.
So far, the AQAP and other terrorists have taken advantage of the security vacuum and ongoing war to expand their influence and seize more territories in the south of the country.
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