By Associated Press, Saturday, September 3, 2011
SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni military and medical officials say 30 al-Qaida suspects have been killed in U.S. airstrikes and clashes with Yemeni soldiers in al-Qaida-held cities in the south.
A military official said that the United States bombed al-Qaida positions 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 reportedly freed a Yemeni military unit besieged in southeast Abyan for several weeks by al-Qaida militants.
Western officials said the airstrikes were not conducted by U.S.
A medical official says four Yemeni military officers were also killed in the clashes Wednesday and Thursday. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.