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SANAA, Yemen — A U.S. drone airstrike on a car east of Yemen's capital of Sanaa on Monday killed two suspected al-Qaida militants and wounded three others, two of them seriously, according to security officials.
They said the five were traveling in a pickup when it was hit Monday in the province of Maarib. The three wounded were traveling in the vehicle's back bed, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
The two killed were identified as Ali Saleh Toaiman and Qassim Nasser Toaiman. Members of the same clan, both men were freed by authorities in April last year after several months in detention on suspicion of belonging to al-Qaida, according to the officials.
The two are thought to have fought government forces in the southern Abyan province, where al-Qaida militants gained a foothold before they were driven out last year.
Yemen's government, aided by the U.S., has waged a campaign against al-Qaida's Yemeni branch. The group is considered among the world's most active, having planned a series of foiled or aborted attacks on U.S. territory.
The United States rarely comments on its military role in Yemen but has acknowledged targeting al-Qaida militants in the past.