Yemeni Warplanes Kill 14 Civilians in Errant Airstrike

Targeted Vehicles in Bayda Province

by Jason Ditz, September 02, 2012

Yemeni military officials are confirming that an air strike earlier this weekend killed 14 people, all of them civilians, including a number of women and children. The strike was in the Bayda Province and targeted two vehicles on the highway.

Officials said that the attacks were the result of “faulty intelligence” and that they had initially believed the people in the vehicles were members of al-Qaeda. The initial reports had left doubts over whether it was a Yemeni air strike or a US drone strike, but Yemeni officials insist they carried out the attack themselves.

Of course, the Yemeni government has in the past lied and taken credit for US “mistakes” in air strikes in an attempt to keep heat off the Obama Administration for civilian deaths. This will likely mean that suspicion over the actual attackers will linger.

The US is in a bit of hot water itself over a drone strike last week, one of several launched in Yemen, which killed a moderate cleric. The cleric had been an critic of al-Qaeda for years and the Association of Southern Provinces Clerics filed an official complaint with the Yemeni government.

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