Yemen’s army killed 10 suspected al-Qaeda militants today in the third day of clashes in the southern city of Lawdar in the Abyan province, the Defense Ministry said.
Foreign fighters from Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Pakistan were among the militants killed, the ministry said on its website. Emad al-Minshibi, al-Qaeda leader in Lawdar, was among those killed, it said. At least 28 militants and three armed civilians backing the government died in the fighting today, Mohammed Saleem, a resident, said by telephone.
Yemen, bordering Saudi Arabia and Oman at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is struggling to recover from protests that weakened the central government’s authority and reduced oil production to about half of its 250,000 barrel-a-day capacity. Abyan province has been the site of some the fiercest battles between the government and al-Qaeda militants.
Yemen’s Interior Ministry said on April 5 that the nation’s army killed more than 100 al-Qaeda militants in recent battles in the southern province of Abyan. In September, government troops recaptured Zanjibar from militants who took control of the southern city in May.
Local citizens captured a checkpoint that the militants seized during an attack on the army on April 9 and the army destroyed two tanks captured by the militants, Saleem said. Mohammed Jebel, a former district head of Lawdar and a leader in the Popular Committees fighting al-Qaeda militants, was killed today, he said.
Fifteen members of the civilian committee fighting al-Qaeda have died in the fighting since April 9, according to the Defense Ministry.
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