Thursday, April 12, 2012

U.S. drone kills 14 al-Qaida militants in Yemen's south

ADEN, Yemen, April 11 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. drone killed at least 14 suspected al-Qaida militants and wounded 10 others on Wednesday evening in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, a governmental official told Xinhua.

The warplane fired two missiles on an al-Qaida convoy on a desert road in the outskirts of Lauder town, about 150 km northeast of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, killing at least 14 militants and wounding 10 others, the local government official said condition of anonymity.

There are foreign nationals among the killed, he added, without specifying their nationalities.

Fierce fighting was still going on in the outskirts of Lauder town as government forces backed by tribesmen continued an offensive against the al-Qaida fighters for the third day, a local military official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Earlier in the day, more than 56 al-Qaida militants were killed in battles with the army forces and pro-government tribesmen and 18 were captured, army officers said, adding that the number of casualties was expected to rise.

U.S. drones and Yemeni fighter planes have regularly targeted al-Qaida militants in southern Yemeni regions, which were seized by the group in May 2011, killing and injuring scores of terrorists.

Taking advantage of the one-year-long political conflicts in Yemen, the resurgent al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), locally known as Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), has taken control of several cities and swathes across the country's restive southern provinces.
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