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12 Qaeda gunmen killed in south Yemen

Air strike kills five Al-Qaeda militants in South Yemen while seven others die in separate incidents, part of an army operation it has been fighting to recapture territory lost last year

AFP , Thursday 7 Jun 2012
yemen
Yemeni army forces fire missile towards al Qaeda-linked militants positions in the southern province of Abyan, Monday (Photo: Reuters)
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An air raid struck the eastern outskirts of the Yemeni town Jaar in the Abyan province that is controlled by Al-Qaeda on Thursday, killing five Islamist militants and wounding three others, a local official stated.

Two other Al-Qaeda fighters were killed in clashes with local militiamen belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees, who are fighting alongside the army, in the village of Batis, north of Jaar, the official said.

The clashes erupted when the militants attempted to return to the village which they had controlled until they were chased out by the army last week.

And five more jihadists were killed in an ambush near Batis, the official added.

He said the ambush by pro-army militiamen was led by a former Al-Qaeda militant, Abdullah al-Sayed, who defected last year in protest at the presence of "foreigners" in the ranks of the Islamists group.

Yemeni forces launched an all-out offensive on 12 May aimed at reclaiming the Abyan provincial capital Zinjibar and other towns and cities lost to Al-Qaeda during the past year.

Since the beginning of the attack, 423 people have been killed, according to an AFP tally combined from different sources. This includes 315 Al-Qaeda militants, 68 soldiers, 22 local armed men, and 18 civilians.

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