A U.S. drone strike targeting al Qaeda suspects in Yemen killed 13 civilians, including three women, three security officials in the restive Middle Eastern country said. ‘This was one of the very few times when our target was completely missed. It was a mistake, but we hope it will not hurt our anti-terror efforts in the region,’ a senior Yemeni Defense Ministry official told CNN. The official asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. The United States typically does not comment on reports it has used unmanned aircraft to target terror suspects, but is widely believed to be doing so in Yemen, a key battleground against al Qaeda.
The Yemen Post also reported the incident:
At least 13 civilians including three women were killed in an airstrike which targeted their car in Yemen’s Baidha province on Sunday, local sources told Yemen Post. The raid was carried out in the Manaseeh district in the Rada town, and the victims were all civilians and had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda or terrorism. It was carried out by a US drone at a time when the Yemeni authorities are receiving direct support from the US including drone strikes to target Al-Qaeda operatives. The misdirected airstrike has drawn wide public condemnation and made some locals announce their support to Al-Qaeda, the website quoted the sources as saying.
Also of note, Reuters reported the strike as a “Yemeni airstrike”.