Sanaa: Yemeni officials say at least 36
soldiers and 25 al Qaeda fighters have been killed in fighting
in the southern province of Abyan.
A military official said today`s fighting was taking
place at a military base west of Abyan`s provincial capital of
Zinjibar, held by militants since May. The fighters overran
the base and captured heavy weapons that were turned on the
soldiers, he says.
A health official confirmed the toll. Both officials
spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not
authorised to speak to the media.
The violence in Abyan highlights the challenges facing
Yemen after a year of political turmoil that has allowed
al Qaeda to seize several towns in the nearly lawless south
and withstand repeated army offensives to retake them.