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Yemen officials: US airstrikes hit al-Qaida area

By AHMED AL-HAJ
Associated Press
   SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemeni military officials say U.S. aircraft have carried
out four airstrikes in a southern province where al-Qaida controls several key
towns.
   Two military officials say the airstrikes targeted Khanfar Mountain, near the
 town of Jaar in Abyan province, where al-Qaida is in control.
   There was no comment from U.S. officials. In the past, U.S. warplanes have
targeted leaders and facilities of al-Qaida in Yemen, considered one of its most
dangerous branches.
   The Yemeni officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military
regulations.
   Al-Qaida has taken advantage of a year of internal turmoil to take over parts
of southern Yemen.
   There was no word on casualties. Residents said Sunday they could see
smoke rising from the area.
   On Saturday, Yemeni officials said U.S. airstrikes killed at least 18 militants.
   AP-WF-03-11-12 1952GMT

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