Yemeni security officials say suspected U.S. drone strikes have killed at least seven Al Qaeda-linked militants in the country's south.

The officials say at least three strikes targeted a gathering of militants on a farm outside the town of Jaar, a one-time Al Qaeda stronghold.

The officials say the strikes early Thursday followed tips from locals of an imminent Al Qaeda attack on the town.

Resident of the area who came to the site after the attack said they saw two vehicles on fire and several bodies. They declined to be identified, fearing reprisals. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

A US-backed Yemeni military offensive in June pushed out Al Qaeda from many southern areas the militants seized during last year's uprising.