3 al-Qaida militants killed in southern Yemen

Yemeni military officials say three al-Qaida fighters have been killed in the latest shelling and fighting near a southern town.

The officials say the fighting took place on Sunday around the town of Jaar, which has been under militant control for more than a year. The army has launched an offensive to dislodge the militants from their strongholds in the south.

The officials say three other militants were wounded in the fighting near Jaar. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

The officials also say that a U.S. drone strike killed five al-Qaida fighters east of Jaar on Thursday night. The militants said in an email message that only two were killed.

Yemen's Defense Ministry on Saturday praised the military's advances in the south.