Army offensive against Al Qaeda in Yemen kills 16


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



At least 16 Al Qaeda militants have been killed in fighting in Yemen’s restive southern region, military officials said Monday.

According to The Daily Telegraph, government warplanes struck an Al Qaeda hideout around 70 kilometers from the southern city of Zinjibar, killing ten militants in the Abyan provincial capital.

Six militants were also killed when the army fired missiles at a vehicle outside another southern town, Lawder, which was in the grip of Al Qaeda last year before its residents drove them out.

In Zinjibar itself, clashes between the two sides left six Yemeni troops dead on Monday, officials told the Associated Press. The military has recently pushed into the city in order to regain control over it, and Monday’s fighting comes a day after government bombings across southern Yemen killed at least 30 Al Qaeda militants.

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According to the BBC, the US recently announced that it had restarted military training with security forces in Yemen, and troops are to receive logistical and intelligence support from the US to combat militants who have exploited a security vacuum to take control of parts of the south.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said last week that Al Qaeda’s Yemen-based group – Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – represented the most severe terrorist threat for the US.

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