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Yemeni warplanes bomb two al-Qaida hideouts

English.news.cn   2012-07-28 23:03:15            

ADEN, Yemen, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni fighter jets bombed two al-Qaida hideouts in the southern province of Abyan on Saturday, a security official told Xinhua without giving the number of casualties in raids.

The air forces bombed two compounds belonging to the al-Qaida militants near Mahfad town in Abyan province, while they were preparing to launch a fresh assault at government soldiers patrolling the restive area, the security official said on condition of anonymity.

"It was not immediately clear if any of the al-Qaida militants or some of their local leaders were killed in the air strikes. The bombing was in response to Wednesday's al-Qaida attack on pro- government checkpoints," the official said.

A local resident told Xinhua anonymously that "huge black smokes and fire erupted in one of the targeted compounds after military aircrafts fired some rockets on it."

"An abandoned al-Qaida training site was also pounded in the air shelling," he added.

The Yemeni government forces have been fighting al-Qaida militants in the southern province of Abyan for years, and hundreds of soldiers have lost their lives.

In the past two months, a U.S.-backed offensive managed to expel al-Qaida militants from their major strongholds in the southern province of Abyan, which they had controlled for nearly one year during the political unrest in Yemen.

However, the al-Qaida militants still have a strong presence in the Mahfad town and some mountainous areas in Abyan.

Fighting al-Qaida militants in the restive south is one of the challenges confronting current Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has promised to launch a national dialogue to settle disputes among all political factions and to uproot the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida.

Editor: znz
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