34 killed in attacks on al-Qaeda militants in Yemen
At least 29 people were killed Thursday in a joint attack by Yemeni and US forces on suspected al-Qaeda militants in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula country, Al Arabiya broadcaster reported.
The Yemeni government forces and US vessels heavily bombarded outposts belonging to the militants in Zinjibar, the capital of the southern province of Abyan, added the Dubai-based broadcaster, dpa reported.
Elsewhere on Thursday, Yemeni government forces killed five al-Qaeda-affiliated radicals in an attack in the south-eastern province of Hadramawt, reported Al-Arabiya.
The fighting reportedly came one day after insurgents with suspected ties to al-Qaeda abducted and slaughtered a Yemeni intelligence officer in Hadramawt.
There was no immediate official reaction to the report.
Al-Qaeda radicals, believed to have a strong foothold in southern Yemen, have increased their operations in the country since President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi took office last month, according to observers.
At least 25 people were killed last month when a suicide bomber, reportedly with links to al-Qaeda, attacked a presidential complex in southern Yemen.
The February 25 bombing came hours after Hadi had been sworn in before parliament in the capital Sana'a.
Hadi has vowed to fight al-Qaeda, calling it a "religious and national duty" to do so.
Militants have taken advantage of a year of political turmoil in Yemen and a weak central government to expand their influence in the country.