Yemeni army 'liberates' southern city from al-Qaida

September 10, 2011 18:34

ADEN - Yemen's army has recaptured a southern provincial capital held by Islamist militants since May, the state news agency said on Saturday, citing the provincial governor and military officials.

The army launched an offensive two months ago against the militants controlling the coastal city of Zinjibar, which lies east of a strategic shipping strait through which some 3 million barrels of oil pass daily.

Militants with suspected links to al-Qaida have seized swathes of territory in the southern province of Abyan, taking advantage of turmoil in a country convulsed for months by protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule.

Just last week, militants took another town in Abyan despite the army campaign backed by air strikes and heavy weapons.

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