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Source: Yemen Times

Four alleged militants and a civilian were killed and three others wounded on Monday in a clash between military forces and militants in Rada’a district of Al-Beidha governorate.

“A group of gunmen… intercepted a military vehicle which was carrying a number of soldiers,” a senior security source from Rada’a Security Department told the Yemen Times on condition of anonymity for fear of being targeted. “The soldiers clashed with the militants, killing three of them and injuring another one. One citizen was also killed as he was passing by the scene. Two of the soldiers were critically injured.”

“I cannot say the militants belong to Al-Qaeda because there are many gunmen in Rada’a who do not belong to Al-Qaeda,” said the source, adding that “at the time of the clash, some residents were protesting against the drone strikes.”

Al-Sharea newspaper published the names of the victims on Tuesday: Abdu Rabu Hussein Al-Zooba, Ibrahim Ahmed Ali Al-Basiri, and Mohammed Ali Al-Sendi were the alleged militants, but the civilian was unidentified.

Eyewitness Abdulrahman Al-Zooba, a resident of Rada’a, confirmed that four people were killed. He says that security forces began shooting at the protesters, who had staged a protest against the drone attacks, but the protesters fired back and clashes lasted for hours.

However, Mohammed Al-Madghari, another resident in Rada’a, said that gunmen started the clashes by joining the protest and attacking military vehicles and soldiers.

The security apparatus has not yet apportioned blame.

Al-Beidha has witnessed several air attacks that many residents say were carried out by American drones. The latest strike occurred on April 19 and killed 14 people including four civilians, according to government sources.

Rada’a district is the largest district of Al-Beidha and was controlled by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in June 2012. The group withdrew after reaching an agreement with the military, although the military has yet to fulfill its end of the deal by replacing soldiers with police officers.

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