Aden, June 5 (Xinhua-ANI): The Yemeni defense ministry said Tuesday the army repelled an overnight attack by al-Qaida militants, killing 23 terrorists in the southern province of Abyan.
The government troops managed to foil an attack by dozens of al- Qaida fighters, who attempted to sneak into an army base in the suburb of Zinjibar, the capital city of Abyan, late on Monday night, the defense ministry said in a brief statement posted on its website.
The government soldiers clashed with al-Qaida attackers, killing at least 23 al-Qaida militants, including a Somali and a Pakistani, the defense ministry said.
One soldier was killed and another injured during the armed clashes, the ministry added.
However, a spokesman of the al-Qaida group told Xinhua anonymously that our fighters attacked army troops in Zinjibar late on Monday night, several soldiers were either killed or injured, he said.
On the same day, an army officer said that army troops surrounded early Tuesday an al-Qaida stronghold outside of Jaar town and pounded it with heavy tank fire.
There are no reports about casualties, he said.
The Yemeni government troops have waged an intensive military campaign, with support of the United States and Saudi Arabia, against several bastions of the al-Qaida terrorist group in Abyan province since last month.
The offensive aimed at recapturing several southern towns and cities seized by the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula during last year's political chaos. (Xinhua-ANI)