Drone strike kills 15 ‘wedding party-goers’ in Yemen
Fifteen people who had been heading to a wedding in Yemen have been killed in an air strike. Local media reported that a drone attack had been responsible, and the party-goers had been hit instead of an Al-Qaeda convoy.
“An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” a Yemeni security official told Reuters.
Five more people were injured in the attack which took place in Radda, central al-Bayda province on Thursday, the source added.
The group had been en route to the the village of Qaifa, the site of the wedding, when it was hit. The assault left charred bodies strewn in the road and vehicles on fire, officials told AP.
While officials would not identify the source of the air strike, local and tribal media sources attributed the deaths to a drone attack.
No comment followed as to whose drone may have delivered the strike. However, the US is known for its counter-terrorism assistance to the country which at times includes UAV raids.
Washington has recently increased the intensity of its drone strikes in Yemen – despite widespread criticism sparked by the fact that strikes are not always accurate. In October, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism Ben Emmerson said that US drone strikes killed 2,200 in the past decade, 400 of whom were civilians.
Yemen is considered to be the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s main foothold of what is deemed the most active wing of the militant network.
Critics maintain that the drone strikes program in the country has done nothing to stem the growth of Al-Qaeda, and has even increased support for the terror network.
However, in August, Yemen requested that the US supply the country with drones in order to help it fight the Al-Qaeda threat.