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Yemeni tribal and security officials say US drone strike kills 4 al-Qaida operatives

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SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni tribal and security officials say a U.S. drone strike has hit a car in Yemen's Shabwa province, killing four suspected al-Qaida operatives.

A similar strike targeted the group last Monday, signaling Washington's determination to keep fighting the militants despite political paralysis brought on by a power grab by Shiite rebels.

PHOTO: Houthi Shiite Yemenis chant slogans during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015.  Rebels who control the Yemeni capital have beaten back dozens of people marching in protest against them, firing automatic rifles in the air and striking protesters with batons and knives. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Houthi Shiite Yemenis chant slogans during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. Rebels who control the Yemeni capital have beaten back dozens of people marching in protest against them, firing automatic rifles in the air and striking protesters with batons and knives. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

The officials did not give the nationalities of the men killed. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information otherwise.

The latest crisis in Yemen has plunged the impoverished country deeper into turmoil and pushed it closer to fracturing along sectarian and tribal lines.

The violence and power vacuum has also raised concerns about Washington's ability to continue targeting al-Qaida's Yemeni branch, which it sees as the network's most dangerous franchise.

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PHOTO: FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, Houthi Shiite Yemenis gather while guarding a street leading to the presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen. A U.S. drone strike targeting al-Qaida in Yemen signals Washington’s determination to keep fighting the militants despite political paralysis brought on by the minority Shiite power grab. But officials say an effective ground strategy to truly uproot the militants will have to await the emergence of a functioning local government that can act as an ally.(AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)
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