Yemen: US drone strike kills 5 militants

Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni military officials say a U.S. drone strike has killed five al-Qaida-linked militants in the country's south.

They said the airstrike Monday targeted senior group member Qaid al-Dahab in a convoy of three cars near the town of Radda, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of the capital Sanaa, and wounded another four militants. The officials said al-Dahab's fate was not yet known.

Al-Dahab's sister was the wife of Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born radical militant cleric killed by a U.S. drone strike last fall.

The army is pushing an offensive to uproot al-Qaida-linked militants from their strongholds in the south. A small contingent of U.S. troops are helping guide the operations from inside Yemen.

There was no immediate word from Washington on the strikes.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni military officials say government troops have retaken most of a southern provincial capital from al-Qaida fighters, and are advancing on another militant bastion.

The officials said Monday that the army holds 90 percent of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, which fell to al-Qaida last year. They say 48 hours of fierce fighting left 22 militants and nine soldiers dead.

They say the army is advancing toward Jaar, another town in militant hands for over a year, in a three-pronged attack supported by heavy artillery shelling and air raids.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

Al-Qaida-affiliated militants took advantage of Yemen's unrest in 2011 to seize control of much of the south.

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