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US warship in Red Sea shoots down drone- officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy warship in the Red Sea shot down a drone believed to have originated from Yemen, two U.S. officials said on Wednesday, in the latest defensive move by the U.S. military in the region in recent weeks.

Washington is on heightened alert for activity by Iran-backed groups as regional tensions soar during the Israel-Hamas conflict and has been trying to ensure that it does not spread.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down by the Carney, a destroyer.

They were citing initial information, which can change, and did not say who in Yemen might be responsible for the drone.

In October, a U.S. warship intercepted four cruise missiles and 15 drones launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement from Yemen towards Israel.

The U.S. has sent a significant amount of naval power to the Middle East in the past month, including two aircraft carriers, their support ships and thousands of U.S. troops since October.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)