Oct 19, 12:50 PM EDT

Yemeni tribal leaders: Suspected US drone strike kills 3 alleged al-Qaida fighters in southeastern province



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Yemeni tribal leaders: Suspected US drone strike kills 3 alleged al-Qaida fighters in southeastern province

The United Arab Emirates says two of its pilots were killed when their military plane crashed due to "technical failure" during an operation in Yemen.

The U.N. special envoy for Yemen is accusing the country's warring leaders of refusing to end fighting and liberate people "from the scourge of famine and conflict."

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemeni tribal leaders say a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed three alleged al-Qaida fighters in the country's southeastern Bayda province.

They say the men were traveling on Thursday in the Soum area when a missile hit their car, engulfing it in flames. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Yemen fell into chaos following its 2011 Arab Spring uprising that deposed longtime autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh, now allied with Shiite rebels from the north who have occupied much of the country and are fighting his successor. A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebels and Saleh's forces since March 2015.

Al-Qaida has taken advantage of the security breakdown to seize territory and expand operations in impoverished Yemen, which sits along strategic oil shipping routes.

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