Yemen tribal officials say airstrikes, artillery shelling kill 4 al-Qaida militants in Marib

Yemen tribal officials say government attacks on al-Qaida positions in Marib province have killed four militants, including a senior member of the violent Islamist group.

The Sunday attacks follow an ambush Saturday that killed eight soldiers, including a senior officer.

The tribal officials said airstrikes and heavy artillery shelling targeted the farm of Said bin Muaily, a senior al-Qaida member. He was killed, along with three others. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the raids with reporters.

The Defense Ministry called Saturday's attack a "terrorist ambush," confirming that the chief of staff in Yemen's central military region was killed.

The U.S. considers the local al-Qaida branch the world's most dangerous. The U.S. has helped Yemen intensify its campaign against the Islamist militants.