Yemen: 35 ‘al-Qaeda’ Killed in Attack on Southern Town

Military Claims Capture of Tiny Town of Wadi Banaa

by Jason Ditz, May 24, 2012

Another day and several dozen more people killed in southern Yemen, as the Defense Ministry issued a statement claiming “35 al-Qaeda militants” were slain today in the ongoing offensives around the town of Jaar.

By which of course they mean fighters loyal to the Ansar al-Sharia. The group has claimed the Abyan Province since last June, ousting the military and operating at as a de facto independent emirate. Yemen never acknowledges a distinction between this faction or “al-Qaeda” in statements.

The latest round of offensives in Abyan have come with the deployment of a small number of US special forces to the nation, and claims that the special forces are actually directing Yemeni troops on the ground, while US drones continue to pound the area.

Today’s offensive ended with the military claiming to have captured the tiny town of Wadi Banaa, on the outskirts of Jaar. They again provided no indication of when they thing Jaar will be captured, let alone the Abyan capital of Zinjibar.

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