Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Yemen: More than 100 killed in clashes

According to Yemeni officials, the number of people killed in the clashes between security forces and suspected Al-Qa'ida militants has risen to more than 100. Dozens of soldiers were killed in the fighting at an army post in southern Yemen and 50 were reportedly taken prisoner.

It is estimated that at least 20 of the suspected al-Qa'ida members died. According to the BBC, some of the militants may also have links with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who surrendered power only a week ago.

The fighting occurred in the southern province of Abyan, west of the provincial capital and militant-held town of Zinjibar. It is thought that the clashes ensued after twin suicide bombings aimed at military posts in Zinjibar.

It is also thought that the militants appropriated some of the army's heavy weaponry before returning to Zinjibar and were helped by army leaders, who served under Saleh.

Islamist began taking control of Abyan last year and the country's security forces have been involved in trying to regain control ever since.

Sources: BBC News, AFP, AP

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

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