ADEN, Yemen, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni army forces shelled the al-Qaida hideouts in the southern province of Abyan on Monday evening, killing four members of the terrorist group and injuring two others, a local army officer said.
The officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that several hideouts and fortifications of the al-Qaida militants were shelled by units of the 25th Mechanized Army Brigade across the Zinjibar city, the provincial capital of Abyan province, leaving four militants killed and two others injured.
The al-Qaida militants carried out three armed attacks on the army troops stationed in the eastern outskirts of Zinjibar in an attempt to seize more cities in Abyan following the coastal city of Shakra, which was seized earlier this week, he added.
Chairman of Yemen's Intelligence Agency Ali Mohammed al-Anesi said Monday that 80 al-Qaida militants of various foreign nationalities were killed in recent battles with the army forces supported by armed tribesmen across the Abyan province.
Abyan, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa, is a key stronghold of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Militants of the AQAP took control over three major cities in Abyan province late in May. The government forces then tried to push al-Qaida militants out the seized cities by carrying out intensified air strikes.