Sanaa, Yemen — Fifteen people were killed when a US drone strike hit a wedding party convoy in central Yemen on Thursday, said a Yemeni security official.
The convoy was mistaken for militants from the al Qaeda terrorist group, officials said.
”An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” one security official said.
However, there were conflicting reports as to whether any al Qaeda militants in the convoy. One of the three security officials said that militants were suspected to have been travelling with the wedding convoy.
Five more people were injured. There were no immediate reports of who was killed in the attack.
The US drone strike was part of the joint US-Yemen movement against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
If the investigation determines that the victims were all civilians, the attack could result in more public anger toward the United States and Sanaa government.
Strikes which result in civilian deaths breed local resentment, sometimes undermining US efforts to turn the population against the militants.
The Yemeni public is already opposed to US drone strikes, though not as strongly as in Pakistan, said reports.
The plane which was responsible for the attack could not be identified by the officials, but both civilians and the local media said it was a drone.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.