Seven killed in militant raid on Yemeni town

May 31, 2012 10:10

SANAA - At least seven people were killed when fighters linked to al-Qaida attacked Yemeni troops guarding a town briefly seized by the militants earlier this year, officials said on Thursday.

The attack on Radda, a town in the al-Baydah province 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Sanaa, comes amid a major Yemeni army offensive on militant strongholds further to the south.

The Yemeni Defense Ministry said four militants and three soldiers died during the attack late on Wednesday night.

Fighters linked to the al-Qaida's Yemen branch, Al-Qaidain the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), briefly seized Radda in January but left the town after striking a deal with the authorities.

AQAP-linked Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic law) said Wednesday's clash began after government troops surrounded the home of a resident named Nassr al-Hattam and pounded it with tank fire.

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