30 Dead After Forces, Militants Clash in Yemen

Posted June 11th, 2011 at 10:10 am (UTC-5)
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Yemeni defense officials say at least 30 soldiers and suspected militants have been killed in clashes in the southern Abyan province.

The defense ministry said Saturday that 18 militants and 9 soldiers were killed in clashes in Zinjibar. Suspected al-Qaida militants had seized control of the city last month.

The ministry says three suspected al-Qaida militants were killed in a separate incident in the province.

The unrest comes a day after tens of thousands of Yemeni's turned out for rival rallies across the country. Loyalists cheered word that President Ali Abdullah Saleh was recovering from injuries sustained during an attack on his presidential compound last week.

However, anti-government activists renewed calls for Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur Hadi to start the process of setting up a transitional government council, while Mr. Saleh recovers in Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni leader left his homeland a week ago after sustaining burns over 40 percent of his body in the bomb attack.