Yemeni troops kill 11 al-Qaida militants in south
Yemeni troops killed 11 al-Qaida fighters in southern Yemen on Friday, as government forces battled their way into the outskirts of a key town under the militants' control, military officials said.
Al-Qaida-linked fighters have taken over a swath of territory and several towns in the south over the past year, pushing out government forces and establishing their own rule. In recent weeks, the army has launched a concerted effort to uproot the militants from their strongholds - and is closely coordinating with a small contingent of U.S. troops who are helping guide the operations from inside Yemen.
On Friday, Yemeni troops moved in on Jaar in Abyan province, killing eight al-Qaida fighters in clashes about 10 kilometers (six miles) north of the town. Recapturing Jaar would better position the military to take back Zinjibar, the provincial capital that has been under al-Qaida control for more than a year.
Also in Abyan, a Yemeni warplane struck an al-Qaida checkpoint some 70 kilometers (45 miles) east of Zinjibar in an area known as Shoqra, killing three militants and wounding six, officials said.
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