A U.S. drone strike killed three suspected members of Yemen’s al-Qaida cell on Monday.
Yemeni security officials confirmed the drone strike to the Associated Press.
The branch — known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula — is considered by officials to be one of the most dangerous branches of the terrorist organization. AQAP claimed responsibility for an attack on Yemen’s Defense ministry on Thursday, citing U.S. drone strikes in the country.
The U.S. military’s use of drones in the country has decreased so far in 2013 compared to 2012, which saw the most strikes since the the U.S. drone program began in the country in 2002. It is the first strike this month, and the 24th strike in Yemen this year.