At least 22 al Qaeda fighters and six Yemeni soldiers were killed Wednesday in the army offensive launched there almost three weeks ago in southern Yemen, reported local officials and a military source.
Violence elsewhere in the country involving the army and armed fighters killed three people, including a woman, according to military and tribal sources. "The area around the town of Jaar saw heavy fighting during which six soldiers were killed and eleven wounded. Twelve members of Al Qaeda were killed and two were wounded, "said the military source.
He said the fighting is concentrated at the northern and western entrances of the city and the army, backed by the Popular Resistance Committees, has continued to advance on both axes. "We are two kilometers from Jaar and we are tightening the noose around Al Qaeda in the northern and western sides."
In the morning, ten members of Al Qaeda were killed in Jaar, a stronghold of the Islamists, and in the town of Shaqra, local officials said.
The Yemeni air force has attacked a communications center of Al Qaeda in the town of Shaqra, near the coast, said another local official.
Further north, near the city of Rada, one soldier was killed and three wounded in a shootout with jihadists who have gone through a military checkpoint.