Yemen's defense ministry says an airstrike has killed at least six suspected al-Qaida militants in the country's south.

Security officials, speaking anonymously because they are not authorized to speak to reporters, say the Wednesday the strike came from a suspected U.S. drone and hit a militant hideout. But there was no official government comment on who was behind the strike, in the southern province of Shabwa.

Yemen has been beset for years by an al-Qaida-led insurgency that has staged dozens of suicide attacks against military and security personnel. The United States has supported the government's campaign against the group with drone strikes. Recently, Shiite rebels have seized control of the capital, claiming to be fighting corruption and battling al-Qaida and other ultraconservative Islamists.