Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen killed at least 20 soldiers in attacks on two army posts in southern Yemen on Monday, a day after a wanted top militant died in an air raid, a military official said.
Jihadists attacked the military posts outside the city of Zinjibar, which they have controlled since May last year, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Four officers were among those killed, he said.
The attacks came after Yemeni Al-Qaeda leader Fahd al-Quso, who was wanted in connection with the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, was killed in an air strike in eastern Yemen on Sunday.
The October 2000 attack on the US Navy destroyer, the USS Cole, in Yemen's port of Aden killed 17 sailors and wounded 40 more.
Quso was killed when two missiles slammed near his home in Rafadh, east of Ataq, the provincial capital of Shabwa province, a tribal chief said, adding that two of the suspect's bodyguards were also killed in the raid.
Quso's name figured on an FBI list of most wanted terrorists, along with a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.
Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen control parts of southern and eastern Yemen where the authority of Sanaa government is weak.