Government troops in southern Yemen on Sunday attacked al Qaeda hideouts, killing two dozen suspected militants in the latest push to clear the area of the terror organization, local security officials said.
Four members of the military were also killed in the clashes, which began early in the morning in the Abyan districts of Zinjibar and Jaar, the officials said, while nine troops were wounded.
Government warplanes aided in the assault.
"We succeeded in taking takeover three strategic posts near Jaar and our forces will continue to go forward," said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"Al Qaeda fighters are evacuating areas previously under their control due to the intensive government bombardment," the official added.
Yemen's government has been fighting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for years with mixed results.
Suspected al Qaeda militants seized Abyan last year during Yemen's political stalemate after government troops evacuated most military posts in the province.
Recently, the government sent thousands of troops to Abyan in its latest assault against the militants, vowing not to retreat until al Qaeda is defeated.
The clashes took place the same day White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan met with President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi in Sanaa.FULL STORY