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DUBAI (Reuters) - Five suspected al Qaeda militants were killed by a drone strike in Yemen's Marib province early on Sunday, residents said.

The men were hit while travelling in a car in Raghwan district, residents said, adding that their bodies were charred beyond recognition.

There was no immediate statement from the militant group or from U.S. forces who have repeatedly launched drone and air strikes against Yemen's al Qaeda branch, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The group has taken advantage of a more than two-year-old civil war between the Iran-aligned Houthi group and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's Saudi-backed government to strengthen its position in the impoverished country.

AQAP operates in several provinces in south and eastern Yemen, including in Abyan, Shabwa and al-Bayda.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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