by Staff Writers
Aden (AFP) May 30, 2012
Yemeni warplanes and ground troops launched a dawn assault on Wednesday on Al-Qaeda positions in the restive southern Abyan province, killing 10 militants, local officials said.
Seven militants were killed inside Jaar when hit by artillery shells fired by troops from west of the city, a local official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Under the control of Al-Qaeda since May 2011, Jaar has been the focus of an offensive by the army aimed at driving the Islamists out of the city.
Twelve militants were also wounded in Wednesday's assault on Jaar, the official added.
Three other militants were killed when army warplanes struck an Al-Qaeda communications centre in the city of Shaqra, another local official said, adding that six jihadists were also injured in the raid.
The latest casualties came a day after Al-Qaeda militants killed three soldiers in an assault on an army convoy ferrying supplies to troops in the war-torn Abyan province.
Yemeni forces launched an all-out offensive on May 12 aimed at reclaiming towns and cities in Abyan lost to Al-Qaeda over the past year.
Since the offensive began, at least 353 people have been killed, according to a tally compiled by AFP, including 259 Al-Qaeda fighters, 58 military personnel, 18 local militiamen and 18 civilians.
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