Two militants, five soldiers killed in Yemen

January 31, 2013 16:12

ADEN - Two militants and five soldiers were killed on Thursday during a Yemeni army raid on a mountainous area where insurgents linked to al Qaeda have been holed up since they were driven out of two southern towns last year, military sources said.

Two suspected members of Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) were also captured in the raid, launched on Thursday morning with army tanks and artillery.

Yemeni military sources said the campaign was aimed at flushing out militants who have taken refuge in caves in the area after they were driven out of Jaar and Zinjibar in a US-backed Yemeni military offensive last year.

Ansar al-Sharia, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), took advantage of a power vacuum during the 2011 popular protests against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to seize the two towns.

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