ADEN, YEMEN: An apparent US drone strike in Yemen killed two suspected Al-Qaeda members and caused a large explosion when munitions they were transporting blew up, a security official and witnesses said on Wednesday.

Washington is the only government to operate drones over Yemen but only periodically releases statements on its long-running bombing campaign against the country’s powerful Al-Qaeda branch.

Tuesday evening’s strike hit the Wadi Abida district of Marib province, east of the capital Sanaa.

The security official named one of the dead as Abu Yaqin al-Waeli, a local Al-Qaeda commander.

Marib is largely in the hands of loyalists of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and his allies in a Saudi-led coalition.

But Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of fighting with the Shiite rebels who control the capital to expand their presence in the province.

Washington considers Al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based franchise to be its most dangerous and has kept up its drone war throughout the conflict.