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Yemeni army in major ground offensive against Al-Qaeda

Published on Apr 29, 2014 7:01 PM
 
Yemen's Defence Minister Major General Muhammad Nasir Ahmad (right) talks to troops as he tours an army barrack in the southeastern province of Shabwa on April 28, 2014. Yemeni troops, backed by air force planes, launched a major offensive against Al-Qaeda strongholds in the south of the country on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, to try to eradicate the Islamist militant group that had killed hundreds since 2011. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

ADEN (REUTERS) - Yemeni troops, backed by air force planes, launched a major offensive against Al-Qaeda strongholds in the south of the country on Tuesday to try to eradicate the Islamist militant group that had killed hundreds since 2011.

A local official said at least five Yemeni government soldiers were killed in the fighting, in which hundreds of volunteers from a local militia known as the Popular Committees are taking part.

The operation came less than two weeks after more than 55 suspected militants died in a series of air strikes on the militants' main hideout in a remote northern district in Abyan Province, in southern Yemen.

"Heroes of the armed and security forces, in cooperation with the Popular Committees, are determined to destroy the remnants of the terrorist elements in al-Mahfad area," Abyan governor Jamal al-Aqel was quoted on the Defence Ministry website as saying.

 
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