ADEN, Yemen, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni air forces launched an air strike against al-Qaida militants in the southern province of Abyan on Wednesday, killing at least six terrorists, the country's defense ministry said.
The air forces bombed a squad of al-Qaida militants in the southeastern outskirts of Lauder town, some 150 km northeast of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, leaving at least six insurgents killed, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
The warplanes also destroyed some armored vehicles and a tank captured by the militants during previous battles with the army troops, the statement added.
Meanwhile, local residents told Xinhua that two air strikes were carried out by military aircraft on Wednesday afternoon against the hideouts of the militants in Jabal Khanfer, a hill overlooking Abyan's second largest town of Jaar, which is under the control of al-Qaida elements, but no casualties were reported.
"We heard very loud explosions, and people said the target was sites of the al-Qaida terrorist group in the mountainous area of Khanfer in Jaar," they said, adding that "smoke could be seen after the bombing."
U.S. drones and Yemeni air fores frequently attack the strongholds of al-Qaida militants in provinces of Shabwa and Abyan, where al-Qaida insurgents have taken advantage of Yemen's chaos to overrun several cities since May 2011.
In recent months, militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch have carried out heavy assaults and deadly suicide bombings against government troops across the lawless southern regions.
Hundreds of al-Qaida militants have built up main strongholds in the mountains in Abyan and Shabwa provinces, seizing control over several regions in the south.