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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, March 24, 2013 11:05 am

Yemen clashes between al-Qaida, militiamen kill 9

By AHMED AL-HAJAssociated Press

Yemini security officials say clashes in the south between al-Qaida and pro-government fighters have killed nine.

The officials said Sunday that pro-government fighters recaptured the town of Batis, north of the city of Jaar in Abyan province, after three days of fighting that left six militants and three pro-government militiamen dead. Seven were wounded and 11 al-Qaida members were captured.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said the army supported the pro-government militia known as Popular Committees in the fighting.

The U.S. considers Yemen's al-Qaida branch as the terror group's most dangerous offshoot. Washington helped Yemeni troops with airpower and advisers during last year's offensive to drive the militants out of large areas they seized during the political turmoil related to Yemen's 2011 uprising.