30 Qaeda militants killed in S. Yemen: Official

More than 30 Al-Qaeda militants were killed Wednesday in clashes with army forces in Yemen's southern Shabwa province, a military official said

More than 30 Al-Qaeda militants were killed Wednesday in clashes with army forces in Yemen's southern Shabwa province, a military official said

SANAA – More than 30 Al-Qaeda militants were killed Wednesday in clashes with army forces in Yemen's southern Shabwa province, a military official said.

"More than 30 Al-Qaeda members were killed in clashes with the army in Ghazal city," commander of the 3rd Military Zone Ahmed Seif al-Yafae was quoted as saying by Yemen's official news agency.

"Scores of terrorists have fled the city, while several dead bodies are scattered around the site of the clashes," he added.

The official, however, gave no word on casualties among army troops.

Seif al-Yafae went on to accuse Al-Qaeda of recruiting children to fight army forces.

Yemen recently launched an offensive against suspected Al-Qaeda elements in the country's south, where the group continues to stage sporadic attacks on army and police personnel.

The army has said its forces were able to destroy a number of Al-Qaeda hideouts and seize "large amounts" of weapons and explosive-making materials during the operation.

The past week has seen stepped-up fighting in the south between militants and army troops in which dozens have been killed.

Yemen has been dogged by turmoil since pro-democracy protests in 2011 forced autocratic president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33 years in power.

In the three years since, authorities have struggled to restore law and order.

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