Clashes in Yemen Leave 30 Dead

Posted March 31st, 2012 at 8:00 am (UTC-5)
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Fierce clashes have erupted between military forces and suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in southern Yemen, leaving at least 30 people dead.

Yemeni officials say the fighting broke out early Saturday when militants attacked an army post in the town of Mallah, in Lahij province. The area is near Abyan province, an al-Qaida stronghold.

The Ansar al-Sharia militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier this month, the group claimed responsibility for the death of an American teacher who was killed in southern city of Taiz.

The Yemeni government has been trying to recover from anti-government protests that resulted in the resignation of long-time leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. Mr. Saleh's deputy, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, took over as president in February. He vowed to fight al-Qaida and stabilize the country.

Yemeni officials say suspected al-Qaida militants sabotaged a gas pipeline in southern Yemen on Friday. The incident took place shortly after U.S. drone strikes killed at least five suspected al-Qaida militants in the region.