Yemen army enters centre of Al-Qaeda bastion: military official

AFP , Tuesday 12 Jun 2012

Yemen's army enters centre of Al-Qaeda bastion Zinjibar, the city captured by militants in May 2011

Yemeni troops made major advances Tuesday into the southern city of Zinjibar, a major bastion of Al-Qaeda, shortly after it recaptured the nearby town of Jaar, a military official said.

"The army has entered Zinjibar and has reached the centre of the city," which was captured by militants in May 2011, said the official.

He said that Islamist fighters were still putting up a fight in other parts of Zinjibar, but expected "the fall of the city within hours."

He said that troops came upon six bodies of Al-Qaeda fighters in the city, but did not elaborate whether they were killed in fighting on Tuesday.

Five soldiers were however wounded when hit by landmines in Zinjibar on Tuesday, the official added.

Yemeni army launched an all-out offensive last month to recapture areas overran by Al-Qaeda last year in the restive Abyan province.

Earlier on Tuesday, the army said it seized control of Jaar, northwest of Zinjibar, after militants fled eastwards during the night to Shuqra.

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