Eleven suspected al-Qaeda militants killed in south Yemen

Arab World Materials 12 April 2011 02:53 (UTC +04:00)

Eleven suspected al-Qaeda activists were killed in fierce confrontations with army forces in the past few days in the southern Abyan province, according to a website run by the Yemen military.

Two of the dead were non-Yemeni nationals, according to officials on Monday, but they did not unveil information about their identity, dpa reported.

On Sunday, one al-Qaeda suspect was killed and 13 were wounded. Six other suspects were killed Friday when the army struck a blow on al-Qaeda elements in Lawdar district in the province, said a local source.

Last month, al-Qaeda gunmen were blamed for taking over an ammunitions plant in Abyan and setting off explosions that killed more than 100 people.

Abyan is seen as the fortress of al-Qaeda militants active in the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen is in the midst of a government crisis as the wave of opposition protests sweeps across the Middle East.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has urged President Ali Abdullah Saleh - a key ally with Washington and other western governments in the fight against al-Qaeda elements in Yemen - to transfer his powers to the vice president in response to popular protests against his 32-year heavy-handed rule.