Yemeni military and medical officials say 30 al Qaeda suspects have been killed in US airstrikes and clashes with Yemeni soldiers in al Qaeda-held cities in the south.
A military official said that the United States bombed al Qaeda positions on Wednesday and Thursday, which militants had seized taking advantage of the political turmoil in the country. Yemen has seen mass protests against longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The airstrikes freed a Yemeni military unit besieged in southeast Abyan for several weeks by al Qaeda militants.
A medical official says four Yemeni military officers were also killed in the clashes on Wednesday and Thursday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to the press.