Six militants killed in Yemen clashes

Story highlights

  • 6 suspected terror militants killed Sunday night in clashes with Yemeni troops, officials said
  • "This is a good sign in the government's fight against terror," said Yemeni official
  • In May, the militant group calling itself Ansaar al-Sharia took over regions of Abyan
Six suspected terror militants were killed Sunday night in clashes that continued with Yemeni troops for more than four hours, local security officials in Abyan, Yemen, told CNN.
Five militants and two soldiers were injured in the clashes. This brings the total death toll within the militant lines to 11 over the last three days.
"The clashes with the militants that are not taking place continuously and in one location. The militants prefer fighting a gorilla war and that is why random attacks are taking place in Abyan," said a security official in Zinjibar, Abyan, who asked to remain anonymous, as he is not authorized to talk to media.
He added, "This is a good sign in the government's fight against terror. They do not have the manpower anymore to clash for continuous days as was the case two months ago."
Independent sources in Abyan confirmed that heavy clashes took place Sunday night but could not give details on casualties.
Eyewitnesses in Zinjibar said that random clashes took place earlier today on three different fronts but resulted in no casualties on either side.
Government troops have had some successes lately against the militants in Abyan.
In May, the militant group calling itself Ansaar al-Sharia took over regions of Abyan and announced it an Islamic Emirate.
Since then, Yemen's Interior Ministry said more than 300 terror elements were killed in Abyan in an effort to drive out the militants.
Still, more than 100,000 Abyan residents have been evacuated from the area, living now in shelters in neighboring provinces and fearing return to their homes.
Sunday night's militant death raises the three-day total to 11, after five militants were killed on Friday in government shelling.