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'Qaeda' members killed in Yemen: militia

Sunday, September 02, 2012

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AFP - Pro-government militias killed two suspected members of Al-Qaeda, a Pakistani and a Somali, in a raid on their hideout in south Yemen on Sunday, a militia chief said.

"A Pakistani and a Somali from Al-Qaeda were killed in a raid by the (Popular Resistance) Committees" in Halma village north of the town of Jaar in Abyan province, said the source requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, the army and local fighters arrested 18 militants in raids on several houses in villages near Jaar, a military official said.

Another military official told AFP that the army has been combing the region in the hunt for militants.

Al-Qaeda took advantage of a nearly year-long uprising which led to president Ali Abdullah Saleh stepping down in February to seize large swathes of south and east Yemen.

Al-Qaeda loyalists have carried out a spate of deadly attacks against Yemeni security forces and their militia allies since Saleh's successor President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi came to power, pledging to crush the militants.

In an all-out offensive launched in May, the army retook a string of towns in Abyan province.

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