Yemen: Thousands flee village due to battle with al-Qaida

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 21, 2010 08:33

SAN'A, Yemen — Thousands of people have fled a village in southern Yemen where security forces are laying siege to al-Qaida militants, a security official said, signaling an escalation in the government's US-backed campaign to uproot the terror network's local offshoot.

Government forces have moved into the village of Hawta with tanks and armored vehicles and 90 percent of its residents have fled, Abdullah Baouda, police chief for the surrounding district, said on Monday.

One family fleeing Hawta said forces have shelled the village indiscriminately for the past two days to flush out the militants. Troops also fired on vehicles of residents fleeing the village and another nearby trouble spot, the city of Lawder, killing two civilians and wounding three others, according local government and medical officials.


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