Yemen's military says its troops regain control of southern al-Qaida stronghold in offensive

Yemen's military says it has regained control of an al-Qaida stronghold in the country's south as part of an ongoing offensive.

In a statement Saturday, the military said the fighting that saw it regain control of the town of Azzan in Shabwa province killed seven militants and two soldiers.

Elsewhere in the province, a military official says soldiers opened fire on militants as they tried to ambush a military patrol in Qarn al-Sawda, an attack that killed five militants and two soldiers. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

The fighting comes amid a new offensive to root out Yemen's local al-Qaida branch, which the U.S. considers the world's most dangerous.