Yemen has launched an air strike against a suspected al-Qaeda cell in the north of the country, killing six militants, the defence ministry says.
Officials said those killed included a senior figure in al-Qaeda in the country, named as Qassem al-Rimi.
He is believed to be al-Qaeda's military commander in Yemen.
A security official quoted by Reuters said: "Two cars carrying eight dangerous al-Qaeda members were hit... two may have survived and escaped."
The French news agency, AFP, quoted a senior official as saying the incident happened at Al-Ajashir, a desert region in the eastern part of Saada province.
In addition to Qassem al-Rimi, the official named three of the others who died as Ammar al-Waili, Ayedh al-Shabwani and Saleh al-Tais.
On Wednesday another al-Qaeda chief - Abdullah Mehdar - was reported killed in a gunfight when Yemeni security forces surrounded a house in Shabwa province.
Security operations against alleged militants were stepped up after a Yemen-based al-Qaeda group said it carried out the failed bomb attack on a US-bound airliner on 25 December.
Analysts say al-Qaeda militants have been moving to Yemen after coming under pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and following a crackdown in Saudi Arabia.