Yemeni Family Wiped Out In Two Separate Drone Attacks

Jan 27, 2015 at 6:28 PM ET

A U.S drone strike this week that killed two suspected Al Qaeda militants also led to the death of a sixth-grade boy whose brother and father were killed by drone strikes in 2011, according to Yemeni officials and a human rights group.

The attack Monday marked the first U.S.-directed drone strike since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government resigned last Thursday. Yemeni officials said Monday that the strike, launched east of the capital Sanaa, killed sixth-grader Mohammad Saleh Qayed Taeiman, along with two other suspected Al Qaeda militants.

A tribal leader in Yemen told Reuters that Taeiman was a militant for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but according to the Yemeni National Organization for Drone Victims (NODV), he was “a normal kid.” The human rights group said his father and 16-year-old brother were killed in a 2011 drone strike, and his other brother was wounded in a separate drone attack.

Friends and family members of drone victims in Yemem started NODV in 2014. It calls for the Yemeni government to investigate the U.S. attacks, and seeks to offer psychological aid to survivors of drone strikes, as well as their friends and family members. Approximately 400 people have been killed by drone strikes in Yemen alone, according to 2014 numbers from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent nonprofit organization.