Aden, Yemen
Aden, YemenThinkstock

The leader of the Islamic State group in Yemen was killed in a drone strike early on Thursday. Local residents and officials who witnessed the explosion told reporters about the strike.  

According to a report by the Reuters news agency the residents said the strike targeted a car in which Jalal Baleedi and two of his aides were traveling in, and that it took place on a road between the towns of Zinjibar and Shaqra in southern Yemen.

Tribal sources told the agency on Thursday that a separate drone strike killed six suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in an overnight attack in eastern Yemen. 

The drone strike which killed the al-Qaeda terrorists, and is being attributed to the United States, targeted a car travelling in al-Rawda city, located in the Shabwa province. The province is a remote desert area where al-Qaeda terrorists are believed to be operating. The province has been targeted by drone strikes earlier this year as well. 

ISIS supporters have substantially increased activities in Yemen over the past few months, issuing a host of propaganda videos including the execution of Shia Houthi rebels suspected of having ties to Iran. In the strategic former capital city of Aden, the group has carried out numerous terror attacks including suicide bombings and attempted assassinations of members of the government. The city of Aden was recently regained by pro-presidential forces with help from Saudi Arabia.

ISIS is currently battling al-Qaeda for prominence and dominance of the area in southern Yemen, a place where both terror organizations operate but where al-Qaeda is dominant.