January 23, 2012 (AFP)
ADEN — Five suspected Al-Qaeda fighters were killed in clashes with Yemeni troops in the restive southern province of Abyan, local officials said on Monday.
One militant was killed and three were injured early Monday in an exchange of machinegun and artillery fire north of the provincial capital Zinjibar, where troops are battling to regain control of territory lost to Al-Qaeda last May.
On Sunday, after militants attacked an army barracks northeast of Zinjibar, the military fought back killing four insurgents, another local official said.
Al-Qaeda and its local affiliates, Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), have a strong presence in southern and eastern provinces, and have taken advantage of a revolt against President Ali Abdullah Saleh to expand their hold on the region.