A Predator drone is pictured in this October 1998 file photo. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Jeffrey S. Viano

Aden -

Eight suspected Al-Qaeda members were killed in an apparent US drone strike in eastern Yemen on Friday, a local official said.

It was the third such anti-Qaeda strike in Hadramawt province this week, following attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday that left seven dead.

The United States is the only country that has drones in the region and it has stepped up its strikes on Al-Qaeda targets in the Arabian Peninsula state.

Al-Qaeda took advantage of a nearly year-long uprising which led to president Ali Abdullah Saleh stepping down in February to seize large swathes of south and east Yemen. - Sapa-AFP