Sana’a: Yemen`s Defence Ministry says clashes in the south between al Qaeda militants and pro-government fighters have killed 14 on both sides.
A ministry statement on Thursday says the fighting lasted for the past two days and left eight militants dead. It`s part of a military offensive that local militiamen have joined to push al Qaeda out of the mountainous stronghold of al-Maraksha in Abyan province.
Abdullah al-Ameeri says six of his fighters were killed. Al-Ameeri is a member of the Popular Committees, a militia of local residents who sided with the government against al Qaeda.
The US considers Yemen`s al Qaeda branch as the group`s most dangerous offshoot. Washington has helped Yemeni troops with airpower and advisers during last summer`s offensive to drive militants out of large areas al Qaeda seized during Yemen`s 2011 uprising.