A suspected US drone strike killed three people in northwestern Yemen on Wednesday, local officials said.
The victims were traveling in a car in al-Jawf province when they were targeted, the officials said, adding that a local al-Qaeda leader, identified as Ali Saleh Jraim, was among those killed.
The United States has stepped up drone strikes as part of a campaign against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded by Washington as the most active wing of the network.
Yemen, AQAP’s main stronghold, is among a handful of countries where the United States acknowledges using drones, although it does not comment on the practice.
Washington views Yemen as a front line in its fight against al-Qaeda.
Yemen is also struggling with demands by southern separatists for independence and an offensive by the Houthi movement to extend its control over the north.