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Yemeni Military, Al-Qaeda Clash Leaves 'At Least 18 Militants' Dead

Yemen's military says its troops have seized control of an Al-Qaeda stronghold, killing at least 18 militants.

A Defense Ministry statement said on April 20 that government forces captured a district of the city of Zinjibar, in southern Abyan Province, a stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia group.

The statement said the rest of the city was controlled by militants.

The attack was part of a government offensive that began two weeks ago in Abyan.

Officials say the offensive has led to the deaths of 250 militants and 37 Yemeni soldiers.

Al-Qaeda has exploited the power vacuum left by the Arab Spring-inspired protests, which eventually forced Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign.

His successor, Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi, took office in February and has vowed to fight Al-Qaeda.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP