Yemeni soldiers killed at least 28 Al-Qaeda gunmen and captured 17 others in raids backed by air strikes on Thursday, the defense ministry said. According to AFP, eyewitnesses said several civilians died in an attack on an alleged training camp for Al-Qaeda in the southern province of Abyan.
Operations also took place in the capital Sanaa and the neighbouring district of Arhab, a security official said. "Between 24 and 30 Al-Qaeda militants, including foreigners, were killed while training," the official said. But witnesses in Al-Maajala told AFP that some 50 people died in the raid, including an unknown number of civilians in the neighourhood which was targeted by air strikes.
About 12 jet fighters took part in the raid which hit the civilian neighborhood by mistake, a local official in Abyan told AFP. According to the ministry official, Yemeni security forces, supported by aircraft, also attacked several Al-Qaeda targets in Arhab, where a cell was found preparing suicide attacks on Yemeni and foreign interests. Four were killed and four others arrested in Arhab, he said in a later statement.
The Yemeni defense ministry, meanwhile, said that 13 al Qaeda members were captured in raids in the capital.