Saturday, February 18, 2012

10 Yemeni soldiers killed in battle with al-Qaida in Abyan

Yemen division 2011-10-23
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SANAA, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 Yemeni soldiers were killed and five others wounded overnight in a fierce battle between the government troops and al-Qaida militants in the southern flashpoint province of Abyan, a provincial security official said on Saturday.

A total of 10 soldiers were killed and five others injured in the battle which is still ongoing in al-Koud town, located on a strategic coastline overlooking the Gulf of Aden and to the east of Abyan's capital city of Zinjibar, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The 201st Armed Brigade and the 25th Machined Brigade inflicted heavy losses on the militants in the ongoing fight, said the official without giving a specific death toll of the terrorist group.

Abyan, some 480 km south of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, has been the scene of daily fierce fighting since militants of Al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) captured Zinjibar and at least three other towns in May 2011.

Indications on the ground show that the government troops have been advancing against the al-Qaida off-shoot in Abyan, according to several local officials.

The government has recently intensified its operations against AQAP in a bid to eradicate the militants and regain control of the country's southern territories. The fighting is still underway only few days ahead of the early presidential elections slated for Feb. 21, which will end the rule of outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is currently in the United States for medical treatment.
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3 insurgents killed, 8 detained in Afghanistan

KABUL, Feb. 18  -- Three insurgent were killed and eight other suspects detained during joint operations launched by the Afghan forces and NATO-led troops in four Afghan provinces, the country's Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

"Afghan National Police, Afghan army and International Coalition Forces launched four joint operations in Kunar, Nangarhar, Kandahar and Helmand provinces over the past 24 hours killing three armed insurgents and detaining eight others," the ministry said in a statement.

The joint forces also seized 70 AK-47 guns besides defusing three Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), it said.

Afghan forces and NATO-led coalition troops have intensified cleanup operations throughout the post-Taliban country recently. Over 140 insurgents have been killed and more than 530 others detained by joint forces since beginning this year, according to the Interior Ministry.

Afghan officials often use the word "insurgents" referring to Taliban. However, the insurgent group, who launched in May 2011 a rebel offensive against Afghan and NATO forces, has not made comment.
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