Al Qaeda militants in Yemen have offered a reward worth nearly £100,000 ($160,000) to anyone who kills the US ambassador to the country.

In an audiotape produced by the local affiliate’s media arm, al Malahem Foundation, and posted on militant websites, it said it would give 3kg of gold to whoever assassinated Gerald M. Feierstein and £14,000 ($23,000) if an American soldier was killed.

The bounties were set to “inspire and encourage our Muslim nation for jihad” and were valid for six months, the statement said.

They were offered just hours after at least three al Qaeda-linkd militants were killed in an apparent drone strike in the southern province of al Bayda, government and tribal sources said.

“Their bodies were charred and the car was completely obliterated,” a tribesman said. “Their bodies were not recognisable, but the government says they’re from al Qaeda.”

Dozens of suspected militants, including al Qaeda members, have been killed in recent months, many in strikes by pilotless aircraft, as the Yemeni government pursues a US-backed effort to counter Islamist fighters.

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