At least 24 militants were killed in airstrikes in south Yemen on Sunday, the Defense Ministry reported.
"About 16 suspected al-Qaida militants were killed in the al-Kawd area near Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province," the ministry said in a statement.
"The other militants, 8, were killed when a US drone targeted their car in the province," alsahwa-yemen.net quoted a tribal source as saying.
Dozens of militants have been recently killed in the battles with the army in Abyan, where some towns including Zinjibar were seized and have become terrorist strongholds.
The US is directly helping Yemen fight the al-Qaida militants and the Sharia Supporters, who seized the towns and have been fighting the authorities for more than a year.
The growing presence of these groups, which started when protests erupted in Yemen last year, represents a big concern to the West.
The militants have recently revealed plans to expand their presence in south and southeastern regions amid merciless airstrikes by the US drones.
More recently, al-Qaida has threatened to attack key economic and security installations in retaliation for drone attacks, and so far, militants bombed the main LNG pipeline and an oil pipeline in Shabwa province.
In addition to al-Qaida threats, Yemen is witnessing battles between the republican guard and tribesmen, allegedly including al-Qaida suspects, in the Arhab district north Sanaa.
Furthermore, the battles between the Shiite Houthi Group and tribes backing the Salafis in Saada province in the far north are continuing. Armed conflicts are threatening the political reconciliation at a time when by the power-sharing government is exerting major efforts to conduct reforms in the army and to hold a national dialogue to put an end to the country's crisis.