About 25 al-Qaeda militants and four Yemeni soldiers were killed today in fighting in the southern province of Abyan, the al-Masdar independent website reported.
Yemen’s air force launched several strikes against militant positions, helping ground troops advance and recapture a munitions plant that had been under their control, al-Masdar said. The army is now a few kilometers from the city of Jaar, a stronghold of the militants, the Defense Ministry said on its website. Government forces also carried out artillery and air strikes on another rebel position in the city of Shaqra, on the Gulf of Aden, according to Saleem Ali, a resident.
In the capital, Sana’a, army leaders loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh have abandoned opposition to a change of command at the Third Brigade of the elite Republican Guard, according to the Defense Ministry. The brigade was formerly led by one of Saleh’s sons, and some loyalists had resisted a change of command that was part of the Gulf-brokered peace agreement under which Saleh relinquished power.
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