SANAA, Yemen – Military officials in Yemen say soldiers backed by tanks are pushing through southern strongholds of suspected al-Qaida militants for a third day, sparking clashes that killed at least six suspected militants.
They say that's raised the death toll from three days of fighting to at least 15 suspected militants killed and 10 members of the security forces.
Officials say that the offensive along three fronts in the southern provinces of Abyan in Mahfed mountainous region and Shabwa started Tuesday. They say that among those killed is a foreign national from Uzbekistan named Abu Mussalam al-Uzbeki.
They say forces face stiff resistance in Shabwa as suspected al-Qaida militants fired mortars and artillery at soldiers.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.