Al Qaeda-linked militants killed by Yemeni security forces

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Story highlights

  • Fighting in Abyan and Shabwa provinces comes amid crackdown on al Qaeda
  • Explosives expert from Russia was among those killed, Yemeni government newspaper reports
  • Three militants, four Yemeni security troops die in a gunfight in Sanaa, Yemeni officials say

At least 11 "al Qaeda terrorists" were killed by security forces in Yemen on Friday, two Yemeni Defense Ministry officials told CNN.

The officials said the action occurred in Abyan and Shabwa provinces.

Also Friday, three militants and four Yemeni security troops were killed in a gunfight in the country's capital, Sanaa, two Yemeni Interior Ministry officials said. Information about what group the militants belonged to wasn't immediately available.

This comes nearly three weeks after Yemen's government launched a military offensive against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

An al Qaeda explosives expert from the Russian republic of Dagestan, Tamoor al-Daghestani, was among those who were killed by security forces in the province of Shabwa, a military source said, according to the ministry's official newspaper, 26 September Net.

Yemen's crackdown killed more than 60 suspected al Qaeda militants in the country from April 19 to April 21, Yemeni officials have said. Twelve more were killed on May 1, according to a high-level Yemeni government official.

Operations last month included attacks by Yemeni commandos and suspected U.S. drone strikes, according to a Yemeni official.