Airstrikes Pummel al-Qaida Militants in Yemen

Posted March 10th, 2012 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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A series of airstrikes have pounded suspected militant locations across Yemen, killing more than 30 militants.

Yemeni security officials confirmed the airstrikes, which started late Friday and continued into Saturday.

Officials say at least 25 militants linked to al-Qaida were killed late Friday in Bayda, southeast of the capital of Sana'a. At least another 6 militants were killed in separate strikes in the southern town of Jaar, seized by militants last year.

Some witnesses and tribal sources in Bayda blamed the attacks directly on the U.S. military. One local resident accused the strikes of killing innocent civilians.

“We don't want war. We don't want killing. We wanted peace. All that we wanted was for Saleh to leave and look at what's happening now. The Americans are attacking us.”

Militants expanded their base in Yemen during the months of turmoil that eventually resulted in the ouster of president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who formally stepped down last month.

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia – Yemen's neighbor – have been concerned about the expansion of al-Qaida in Yemen.