Jul 1, 4:36 PM EDT

A drone strike kills 3 al-Qaida suspects in Yemen

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A drone strike kills 3 al-Qaida suspects in Yemen

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SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Security officials and tribesmen say that at least three suspected al-Qaida militants have been killed in a drone strike in southern Yemen.

The officials said the militants were hit while traveling in an SUV in the province of Shabwa. Tribesmen put the death toll among the militants to six and said the vehicle turned into charred, twisted metal. They said they believe a U.S. drone is behind the attack. It was not immediately possible to verify their account.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisal.

The attack came at a time the White House revealed for the first time that as many as 116 civilians were killed by drone and other U.S. strikes in different countries including Yemen since 2009 when President Barak Obama took office.

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