A Yemeni official says security forces have killed at least 10 al-Qaida-linked militants in a battle near the town of Zinjibar, the capital of the southern Abyan province.
The official said the 10 were killed during heavy fighting Tuesday between government forces and Islamic militants who have seized the town.
Security has collapsed across the Arab world's poorest country during the nine-month popular uprising seeking to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh. This has allowed al-Qaida-linked militants to seize entire towns in the country's south.
Another official said Yemen's air force bombed militant positions in the militant-controlled town of Jaar, also in Abyan province.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.