Yemeni officials say the latest government airstrikes in the country's south have killed 43 al Qaeda militants.
Military officials say government forces on Tuesday took control over a mountainous area of al-Rahha in the southern province of Lahj, after pounding al Qaeda hideouts there for the past three days.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The offensive followed a surprise attack by militants on a Yemeni army base in the area earlier in the weekend.
Al Qaeda-linked militants have taken advantage of a year of internal political turmoil to expand their gains in south Yemen.