22 March 2011
Aden, Thirteen Al-Qaeda militants were killed in clashes on Tuesday with Yemeni soldiers in the southern province of Abyan, a stronghold of the radical network, a local official told AFP.
The bloodshed came as US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned that Yemen's political "instability and diversion of attention from dealing with AQAP," Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was a "primary concern" to Washington.
"Thirteen Al-Qaeda militants have been killed in ongoing clashes with the army in the town of Loder" in Abyan province, said the local official.
Earlier on Tuesday, a security official gave a casualty toll of two Al-Qaeda militants dead and five soldiers wounded after "a group of Al-Qaeda elements surrounded an army unit."
Both sides used "artillery and machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades" in the confrontation, said the official.
Last Thursday, Al-Qaeda fighters attacked a security post in the eastern province of Marib, sparking a clash in which three militants and two policemen were killed, officials said.
Source: FOCUS News Agency