Yemeni officials see latest US strikes as sustained campaign

Yemeni officials and residents say U.S. jets carried out dozens of airstrikes on al-Qaida targets overnight and in the past 48 hours in one of the lengthiest sustained campaigns inside the Arab country.

They said Friday that the strikes focused on a triangle-shaped mountainous region where three Yemeni provinces meet: Bayda, Shabwa, and Abyan.

They say casualty figures have been slow to emerge but that seven alleged al-Qaida militants were killed in strikes Thursday.

Residents in Shabwa say the strikes hit the town of Wadi Yabsham, where Saad Atef, al-Qaida's No. 2. The residents and officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk to journalists.

Sadek al-Jaouf, a Bayada tribal leader, says houses were bombed in Yakla district, the site of a U.S. raid last month.