Fierce clashes erupted Saturday morning between al-Qaida fighters and the army troops, killing three al-Qaida militants and wounding four others in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, a local army officer told Xinhua.
The army officer said on condition of anonymity that fierce armed clashes broke out following a number of violent attacks carried out by al-Qaida militants at the army troops, which were stationed in the northeastern outskirts of the al-Qaida-seized of Zinjibar city, the provincial capital of Abyan.
The militants threatened to further escalate the fighting and take revenge after several high-profile al-Qaida leaders were killed during the last battles with the army troops, the officer said, adding that no information was available about the casualties in the army troops till now.
Yemeni Defense Ministry said people with various nationalities were involved in al-Qaida's fighting against the army in Abyan.
Yemeni government forces intensified battles and air strikes against the al-Qaida fighters more than one month ago, after the latter seized Abyan's two largest cities, Jaar and Zinjibar, about 480 km south of the country's capital Sanaa.