Clashes in Yemen kill at least 28 militants: officials


Al Qaeda loyalists in the town of Jaar, in Yemen's southern Abyan province, on Jan. 25, 2012.



Yemen's defense ministry today said 28 insurgents tied to al-Qaida were killed today in the country's mostly militant-controlled south, the Associated Press reported

The statement also said the army took custody of two top al-Qaida members, said AP

Tribal sources, however, told Reuters that as many as 34 people were killed in clashes in the country's south today. 

Islamic militants moved into the region over the past year, taking advantage of the political upheaval that saw the ousting of former longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh in February.

Their presence there is seen as a major test of the country's young leadership. 

More from GlobalPost: Yemen: At least 50 militants killed in government strike in country's south

The government recently launched a military campaign that it says has taken the lives of some 200 militants in the region in the last five days alone, according to AP. The army is also working with armed civilians eager to oust extremist activity from their towns. 

Al-Qaida’s Yemeni branch, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is considered one of the group's most dangerous, said AP