Two al-Qaeda leaders killed in Yemen (UPDATE)
previous news was posted at 12:08
Yemeni troops killed two al-Qaeda leaders in an overnight security swoop in the southern province of Abyan, state television reported Thursday.
Dozens of militants with suspected links to the terrorist network were killed and others injured during the operation, according to the report.
A security source was quoted as identifying the two leaders as Ayed al-Shabouni and Awwad Saleh, DPA reported.
Al-Shabouni, who is suspected of having masterminded a series of recent attacks in Yemen, had been on the government's most wanted list.
On March 31, a group calling itself al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared Abyan an "Islamic emirate" and banned women from leaving their homes.
The group, which has reportedly taken advantage of anti-government protests gripping the country since February, has established full contro over the province.
Arab Gulf and Western countries have expressed fear that the unrest in Yemen could turn the country into a stronghold for al-Qaeda.