Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Sunday, May 20, 2012

21 dead in Yemen al-Qaeda clashes

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- Fierce clashes between government troops and al Qaeda fighters Sunday morning in Yemen left 21 people dead, two local security officials told CNN.

The officials said clashes erupted when hundreds of troops attempted to sweep through areas around the district of Jaar, the main stronghold for al Qaeda in the southern province of Abyan.

Al Qaeda fighters fought back, kicking off clashes that continued for nine hours, the officials said. Fourteen militants and seven troops were killed in the fighting, they said.

Residents of Jaar told CNN that al Qaeda fighters were seen entering from neighboring districts Sunday after the government warned of a raid.

The residents said Yemen's air force attacked targets being used by al Qaeda as weapon storage sites.

"A deadline was given to al Qaeda in Jaar to surrender," a senior security official in Abyan told CNN on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to talk to media. Read More