Military officials say an airstrike has hit a vehicle carrying suspected militants as it traveled down an inner city road in eastern Yemen, killing five.

The officials say the attack Wednesday targeted the vehicle in Hadramawt in eastern Yemen. They say the bodies were badly mangled by the airstrike. The officials didn't say who carried out the attack, but the U.S. has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.

The U.S. considers the local branch of al-Qaida the world's most dangerous.

The attack was unusual in that it was not in a desert or mountain area, but an area heavily populated by civilians.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to speak to the media.