Yemen: At least 42 killed in offensive on islamist insurgents of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
At least 42 people including 30 Islamist militants were killed in Yemen on Monday night and Tuesday, officials and residents said, as the government pressed ahead with a new US-backed offensive against insurgents in the south.
The Islamist rebellion is of serious concern to the United States and to Yemen’s much bigger neighbour Saudi Arabia, which both fear that instability could give al Qaeda’s Arabian wing, already active in Yemen, a bigger foothold near oil shipping routes through the Red Sea.
Residents and local officials said heavy fighting erupted overnight between the Yemeni army and militants in an area called al-Jabalain in the south, as the army tried to advance on the militant-held city of Jaar.
The clashes continued until early on Tuesday, killing at least eight militants and one Yemeni soldier, they said, adding that the army had captured two Somali fighters.