Yemeni boy killed in drone strike told reporters only months before he was terrified of 'death machines' in sky

13-year-old was killed on 26 January after a drone hit a car carrying him and his brother-in-law

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The Independent Online

A Yemini boy killed in drone strikes had spoken to a British newspaper just months before his death about his fear of the “death machines” in the sky.

Mohammed Tuaiman, 13, described to the Guardian how he, his friends and their neighbours in al-Zur village in Marib province were all terrified of the drones in the airspace above.

“A lot of the kids in this area wake up from sleeping because of nightmares from them and some now have mental problems,” he told the newspaper.

Mohammed was killed on 26 January after a drone hit a car carrying him, his brother-in-law and another unnamed man.

Three years earlier his father Saleh Tuaiman and teenage brother Jalil were also killed by an unmanned drone as they herded the family’s camels.

In September, the teenager told the Guardian how angry he was towards the US government for – he believed – killing his father.

“In their eyes, we don’t deserve to live like people in the rest of the world and we don’t have feelings or emotions or cry or feel pain like all the other humans around the world.”

He continued: “Don’t blame us because we sympathise with al-Qaeda, because they were the only people who showed their faces to us, the government ignored us, the US ignored us and didn’t compensate us. And we will go to court to prove this is wrong.”

Mohammed’s elder brother Maqded told the newspaper his brothers and father had nothing to do with al-Qaeda.

The oil-rich area in which they live has been under increasing strain from Houthi Shia Muslim fighters who are attempting to extend their influence across the region.

Leaders of the fighters have suspended negotiations over power-sharing with the Yemini government. The UN Security Council has expressed “grave concerns” over the encroachment of the rebels in the impoverished Arab nation.

Additional reporting by Associate Press