Last updated: 1 July, 2012

Yemeni soldier and Al-Qaeda militant killed in southern parts of the country

A Yemeni soldier and an Al-Qaeda militant were killed Sunday as jihadists tried to raid a village in the southern province of Daleh, the defence ministry’s website reported.

Security forces “foiled an attempt by a group of Al-Qaeda terrorists to infiltrate into … the village of Shueib in Daleh province early on Sunday,” Daleh security chief, General Ali al-Amri, was quoted as saying on, website of the defence ministry.

The forces, backed by local militiamen, besieged the group and demanded they surrender, he said.

“But they refused and opened fire wounding one citizen and sparking clashes that killed the group’s leader and wounded two others,” said Amri, adding that nine militants were also arrested.

One soldier was also killed in the clashes, said a text message which AFP received from

Daleh province is adjacent to Abyan where Yemeni forces succeeded last month in regaining control of a string of towns which the jihadists overran in May last year.

Taking advantage of a central government weakened by an Arab Spring-inspired uprising last year, Al-Qaeda-linked militants had captured Zinjibar, Jaar, Shuqra and other villages across Abyan.