Report: At least 30 killed in Yemen fighting
At least 30 people were killed Saturday in clashes between military troops and suspected al-Qaeda insurgents in southern Yemen, broadcaster Al Arabiya reported.
Seventeen soldiers and 13 insurgents died in the fighting, which was triggered by an attack by the insurgents on army positions in the town of Mallah in the southern province of Lahaj, dpa quoted the report as saying.
Saturday's violence came a day after four insurgents suspected of being affiliated to al-Qaeda were killed in a US drone attack in the south-eastern province of Shabwah.
A civilian man and four children were injured when the drone hit their car in the town of Azzan, Mareb Press reported Saturday.
Hours later, gunmen retaliated by blowing up a gas pipeline in Shabwah, local media reported Saturday.
Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), a radical al-Qaeda-affiliated group, claimed responsibility for the attack, reported Al Arabiya.
The 320-kilometre pipeline was sabotaged in an area located about 100 kilometres east of Shabwah's capital city Ataq, according to media reports.
President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi, who took office in February, has vowed to fight al-Qaeda, calling it a "national and religious duty."
Militants affiliated to al-Qaeda have strengthened their foothold in Yemen, taking advantage of a year of political turmoil and a weak central government in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
In February, 25 people died when a suicide bomber, with suspected links to al-Qaeda, attacked a presidential complex in southern Yemen.
At least 29 insurgents were reportedly killed in March when Yemeni and US forces jointly attacked suspected al-Qaeda outposts in the southern province of Abyan.