US Airstrike Kills 15 Civilians in Yemen Wedding Party
Fifteen innocent Yemeni civilians on their way to what was supposed to be a joyous wedding were killed by a US airstrike on Thursday.
Reuters reports the deadly strike occurred in Radda, the capital of Al Bayda province in central Yemen. Local security officials said the wedding party, which was heading to the village of Qaifa, was mistaken for an al-Qaeda convoy.
“An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” a local official said.
In addition to the 15 dead, five other civilians were injured in the strike.
Local media sources identified the US aircraft as a drone, but American officials have not yet confirmed this or issued any statement regarding the attack.
US forces have been increasing drone strikes in Yemen as part of their battle against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terrorist group believed to be responsible for the failed Christmas 2009 “underwear bomber” plot and other foiled attacks against America.
According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US drone strikes in Yemen have killed as many as 56 civilians and injured as many as 150 more.
Last September, a US drone strike killed 13 civilians near Rada, al-Baitha province.
Nabeel Khoury, deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen from 2004-2007, has suggested that US drone strikes are doing more harm than good.
“Drone strikes take out a few bad guys to be sure, but they also kill a large number of innocent civilians,” wrote Khoury. “Given Yemen’s tribal structure, the US generates roughly 40-60 new enemies for every AQAP operative killed by drones.”
Tagged al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, aqap, drones, U.S. drone kills 15 civilians, U.S. drone strikes Yemen, War on Terror, Yemen airstrike, Yemen drone death toll, Yemen drone strike wedding, yemen drones