A Yemeni security official says an airstrike has killed three suspected al-Qaida militants in the country's central province of Marib.

The official did not specify if it was a U.S. or Yemeni aircraft involved in the strike Saturday which hit a house in the Obeida Valley where the group has a strong presence.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

A website affiliated to Yemen's al-Qaida branch confirmed earlier reports that militants had killed 14 soldiers on Friday near the city of Shibam in the eastern Hadramawt province.

The militants said the soldiers were killed for taking part in military campaigns against them.

Yemen has been grappling with an al-Qaida insurgency and receives counterterrorism training and assistance from Washington.