ADEN - Five Yemeni troops and a colonel and seven militants died overnight in clashes in southern Yemen, and army artillery killed eight pro-government tribesmen by mistake, local and tribal officials said on Saturday.
The clashes took place outside Zinjibar, the center of the province of Abyan where militants have seized several areas, a local official told Reuters. The region lies east of an international shipping lane where 3 million barrels of oil pass daily.
A tribal official said the army targeted the tribesmen which it mistook for militants as they approached Zinjibar in another area late on Friday.
The militants have posed a rising challenge in recent months to army control in southern Yemen.