Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yemeni warplanes bomb al-Qaida strongholds, 12 killed

ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Warplanes of the Yemeni air force launched several air strikes Tuesday against a number of al- Qaida strongholds, killing at least 12 terrorists and injuring dozens of others in the restive southern province of Abyan, a military official said.

The local military official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that two successful air strikes bombed an al-Qaida stronghold in the Jaar city, Abyan's second largest city, which remains held by the terrorist group since late May.

A reinforcements convoy of the al-Qaida group was pounded in a road linking Jaar and the coastal city of Shakra, leaving 12 militants killed and dozens of others injured, he said, adding that five of the group's armored vehicles were completely destroyed in the bombing.

Meanwhile, another military source said fierce battles were still going on between al-Qaida militants and army units in the eastern areas of Zinjibar city, the provincial capital of Abyan.

Heavy machine guns and automatic weapons were used during the fighting between the two sides, according to the military sources.

Abyan, some 480 km south of the country's capital Sanaa, has been the scene of daily fighting after hundreds of militants of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) captured Zinjibar and at least three other towns in May.

Yemeni military forces took back control of Zinjibar last month, but heavy clashes are still rocking the region.

For more than three months, Yemeni government troops have been fighting AQAP militants who were apparently taking advantage of the country's nine months of political turmoil to expand their military operations and control in the lawless southern and eastern parts of the country.

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