13 al-Qaida Militants Killed S. Yemen's Abyan
    2011-06-19 21:37:40     Xinhua       Web Editor: Xu
Yemen's armed forces killed at least 13 al-Qaida militants and wounded dozens of others, including a leader, during fierce clashes that erupted Sunday morning in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, a local military officer told Xinhua.

Fierce fighting broke out between the army and al-Qaida militants in the west of Zinijbar, the provincial capital of Abyan, killing 13 al-Qaida and wounding dozens of others, including a high-profile leader, the officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, three groups of al-Qaida militants also launched attacks against the reinforcements of the armed forces which were trying to enter Zinijbar city. The army repelled the attacks, the officer said.

A local army official told Xinhua that three soldiers were killed by al-Qaida militants during the clashes.

The continuing battles forced around 30,000 residents to flee their homes to the port city of Aden, according to initial statistics by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Government forces intensified battles against the terrorist group in the recent two weeks after the latter seized Abyan's two largest cities of Jaar and Zinjibar, about 480 km south of the capital Sanaa.
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