A Yemeni official said on Sunday that 49 civilians, among them 23 children and 17 women, died in air strikes against Al-Qaeda, which he said were carried out "indiscriminately." Exiled southern leader Ali Salem al-Baid had blamed the Yemeni government of killing at least 62 civilians in Thursday's air strikes Sanaa said targeted an Al-Qaeda training camp in the southern province of Abyan.
The local official from the Al-Mahfed region, which includes the village of Al-Maajala where the strike took place, on Sunday told AFP: "The raid was carried out indiscriminately and killed 49 civilians, including 23 children and 17 women."
A tribal leader from the Al-Kazam tribe too confirmed civilian deaths. "In total, 49 civilians were killed," he told AFP.
Yemeni government officials said the Thursday air strikes against Al-Maajala killed 30 suspected Al-Qaeda members, and that four Al-Qaeda members also died Thursday in a ground raid in Abhar, 35 kilometres north of Sanaa.