Saturday, April 14, 2012

Government troops kill 28 al-Qaida insurgents in Yemen's south

ADEN, Yemen, April 13 (Xinhua) -- A total of 28 al-Qaida insurgents were killed in ongoing clashes with the government troops in Yemen's southern province of Abyan on Friday, the Yemeni Defense Ministry said.

Several hours of fierce fighting between the al-Qaida group and army forces drove the insurgents out of the western suburbs of Lauder town, about 150 km northeast of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, leaving at least 28 terrorists killed, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

More than 200 al-Qaida militants have been killed since fighting erupted on Monday, the statement added.

"The al-Qaida militants retreated from the strategic area of Umm Ayan, south of Lauder town, early Friday morning, to the mountainous areas," a local tribal chief told Xinhua by phone anonymously.

In recent months, militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch have carried out large-scale attacks and suicide bombings against the government troops across the country's lawless southern regions.

Hundreds of the al-Qaida militants have built up strongholds in the mountains in Abyan and Shabwa provinces, and seized control of several regions in the south where the central government has nearly no presence.

The United States branded the Yemen-based al-Qaida a global threat, and have stepped up its alliance with the Sanaa government by launching drone strikes in an attempt to eliminate it.

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