12 Soldiers Dead in Southern Yemen Violence

Posted July 7th, 2011 at 12:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Two attacks in southern Yemen have left 12 soldiers dead.

Officials say suspected al-Qaida militants fired on a vehicle near the city of Lawdar, late Wednesday, killing 10 soldiers.

Elsewhere, Yemeni officials say two soldiers were killed and several civilians wounded in the city of Taiz, where tribesmen have been fighting forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Separately, Yemen state news reports said Thursday that military forces killed a regional al-Qaida leader and several associates in clashes near the southern city of Zinjibar.

Violence has escalated in some regions of Yemen since President Saleh traveled to Saudi Arabia last month to receive treatment for injuries sustained in an attack on his palace compound.

Official Yemen TV says Mr. Saleh will make a recorded speech in the coming days. There has been no word on what he will discuss.

On Tuesday, Yemen's top opposition general called for foreign intervention to help avert a regional crisis.

General Ali Mohsen urged the United States, the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council to pressure Mr. Saleh to step down. He voiced support for a GCC plan that calls for Mr. Saleh to cede power to a transitional government after 30 days.

The general defected and joined protesters in March.

Opposition activists have been holding protests for five months, seeking an end to Mr. Saleh's 33-year autocratic rule.