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Yemeni tribesmen protest US drone strikes


Dozens of armed tribesmen took to the streets in southern Yemen on Friday to protest against US drone strikes that have killed innocent civilians.

Separately Friday, a report revealed that Saudi jets have been carrying out airstrikes over its southern neighbor at the behest of the United States.

A drone killed at least three people suspected of being al-Qaeda militants in the town of Redaa on Thursday, the fifth strike by a pilotless plane in the area in 10 days.

One tribesman participating in a sit-in in front of the government administration building in Redaa told Reuters by telephone that at least seven innocent civilians were killed in the recent raids.

"If the authorities don't stop the American attacks then we will occupy the government institutions in the town," he said.

Another said: "The government has opened up the country to the Americans so that they can kill Muslims."

Redaa was the scene in September of the killing of at least 10 civilians including a 10-year-old girl in an air strike that apparently missed its intended target.

The protest comes as the London Times reported that Saudi Arabia has been involved in the US drone war in Yemen.

The Times cited a US intelligence source as saying that "some of the so-called drone missions are actually Saudi Air Force missions."

US drone attacks in Yemen nearly tripled in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the Washington-based think tank New America Foundation, and for the first time totalled more than in Pakistan last year.

(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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