(Reuters) – At least two militants were killed on Monday in what security and local officials said was a U.S. drone strike on a suspected position of al Qaeda-linked insurgents in southern Yemen.

Washington has escalated its use of drones to kill suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen, where the group exploited anti-government protests last year to seize swathes of territory in the south of the country before being driven out by a military offensive in June.

The officials said the drone hit a vehicle in a town in southern al-Bayda province, killing at least two suspected militants. One of those killed in the attack was a Jordanian citizen, a local official and a resident said.