Yemeni armed forces killed dozens of militants linked to al-Qaeda, including a leader of the group, and wounded others in the province of Abyan, Yemen's News Agency Saba reported Tuesday.
"Dozens of terrorists linked to al-Qaeda were killed, including a leader nicknamed Abu Sunbol, and others wounded in attacks launched by Yemen's army forces in Zinjibar city of Abyan province," which is some 480 kilometres south of the capital Sana'a, the agency said, DPA reported.
The agency quoted an official source saying: "The Yemeni forces attacked and destroyed a number of terrorist nests in Zinjibar."
"Following the clashes, the armed forces searched the positions of the terrorists and found modern gears of communication, ammunition, various weapons and IDs for some of the killed terrorists," it added.
On March 31, a group calling itself al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) declared Yemen's Abyan province an "Islamic Emirate" and banned women from leaving their homes.
AQAP, which has taken advantage of the anti-government protests that have gripped the country since February, has established full control over the southern Yemeni province.
Gulf and Western countries have expressed fear that the unrest in Yemen could transform the country into a stronghold for the terrorist al-Qaeda group.