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U.S. drones kill 10 al-Qaida militants

SAN'A, Yemen -- U.S. drones killed 10 al-Qaida militants, one believed to be a top bomb-maker, in separate strikes targeting moving vehicles in Yemen, officials and the country's state-run news agency said Tuesday.

The first attack hit two vehicles carrying seven passengers in the southern town of Radda late Monday, killing them all. The official SABA news agency said one was Abdullah Awad al-Masri, also known as Abou Osama al-Maribi, whom it described as one of the "most dangerous elements" of al-Qaida in the militant stronghold of Bayda province and the man in charge of a bomb-making lab.

SABA did not specify his nationality. The agency said the dead also included a Bahraini, a Saudi, two Egyptians and a Tunisian.

Farther east, another U.S. drone targeted a second vehicle Tuesday carrying three al-Qaida militants in the Zoukaika region of Hadramawt, the officials said.

Officials in Yemen often credit the United States with carrying out drone strikes against the terror network's local branch, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which it considers the world's most dangerous. The United States rarely comments on its role in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Yemeni troops killed two al-Qaida militants and arrested eight others, including non-Yemenis, after storming houses used as hideouts in the town of Jaar, officials said. The raid was part of a wider manhunt seeking al-Qaida fighters in towns that were formerly their strongholds. -- AP

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