Yemeni army kills 33 militants in south
ADEN - Yemeni troops fought Islamist militants in southern cities on Thursday, as the government pressed ahead with a U.S.-backed offensive to help stabilise the impoverished Arab state that has turned into a base for al Qaeda.
At least 33 militants were killed in heavy fighting with the Yemeni army on the western outskirts of the city of Jaar, in southern Abyan province, army officials and residents said. Among the dead were a Somali and an Egyptian fighting with the insurgents, they said.
Yemeni warplanes also launched strikes on Jaar, but no casualties have been reported, residents said.
Western and Gulf Arab countries have watched with mounting alarm as a political crisis in Yemen has given al Qaeda the opportunity to develop a base from which to launch attacks around the world.
Insurgents in the south exploited mass protests last year against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to seize large swathes of territory. (...)